Guest Post by Entrepreneur, Fashion Designer, Wife and Role Mommy, Kelsey MacLean
It was a beautiful late August summer day, and I took my 3 year old son to the park. He went running straight for a very tall climbing wall that seemed to be miles high for his chubby little hands and body. He barreled up to the playground climbing wall and immediately began to scramble up, my heart skipped a beat, and I started to make a move to pull him down, fearing he would fall and hurt himself.
But I stopped myself. I desperately wanted to shield him from every bump, bruise and scrape he might endure on that climbing wall and from every loss, heartache, and heartbreak that he is bound to suffer throughout his life. Oh how my heart thundered in my ears, yet I knew I had to back away, to remain only close enough to catch him if he fell, but far enough away so he did not know I was there. He confidently struggled to the top, hesitated, and turned around triumphantly smiling down at me before giggling and sliding down a terribly long slide.
I realized he had that brave youthfulness that has somehow over the years ebbed away from me, he wasn't scared of all the bumps and bruises and scars that one encounters in the journey of life. I remember the bold courage of youth, the innocence of not knowing to proceed with caution. Overtime life chips away at these and if you are lucky, you learn to wear the scars with pride. Either way, you become more cautious and lose the wonderful perspective of youth that allowed you to see the world as a place filled with infinite possibilities.
Here is the deal on being a parent: I would instantly and unquestionably offer myself to ancient Aztec Indians to rip open my chest and remove my still beating heart to ensure the survival of my child. Being a mom does that, you love something so much there is no question you would sacrifice your own life for theirs, and at any given moment on any given day. Loving someone that deeply is scary, you want to shield and protect your child fiercely. There must be some sort of primal instinct, like a momma bear or as I call it, #TheMominator instinct kicks in. #TheMominator makes #TheTerminator look like a cute puppy. I want his life to be an easier, gentler life and to know nothing but sheer joy, but that is my own fantasy. He will face many challenges in life and must learn courage, independence and tenacity. I owe it to him to put his wellbeing before my own selfish insecurities. It's my duty as a parent to see that he learns the tools and skills necessary to survive and thrive, and hopefully have a family of his own someday. In order to do that, a parent must stand back and let them scrape their knee, struggle to stand up, brush themselves off and move on, even if someday it's away from me. It's the absolute hardest thing I have ever endured, both beautiful yet heartbreaking at the same time. But that's the deal. That's being a parent, and I fully and completely signed up for this. If I want him to be the person I hope he will become, I cannot extinguish his bold curiosity. Someday I won't be around to kiss away the scrapes and bruises, and someday very soon he won't want me to.
I watched him make new friends today, laughing and playing tag with sheer JOY smeared across his face as I stood on the side, protectively watching over him like the helicopter mom I'm trying desperately not to be. I noticed his chubby hands and face are starting to thin and become more agile and muscular and he is growing, seemingly at the speed of light.
Later, as we leave the park, his hand in mine, I look up at the sky and am reminded that summer is fleeting, and my little boy is too. I will relish, cherish and remember each moment, I pray. -Kelsey MacLean, August, 2015 ©
- See more at KelseyMaclean.com.
Posted in: *Inspiring Moms on 03/14/2016