Lightbulb moments are rare and precious. children have steered me to a few of those. It's awesome and unexpected when that happens, but when I think carefully about my experience as a mother, I should not be in the least bit surprised.

Motherhood, for me, has been an endless journey of nurturing, empowering, and also self-discovery. The last part I never expected, for when I embarked upon the motherhood adventure I had assumed it would be, always, about my children. And I was fine with that.

I couldn't have been more mistaken.

Through the years my greatest personal insights have resulted from being a Mom, and lately, it seems like there have been more moments than ever. Perhaps the poignancy of shared moments has intensified since my kids have begun their own lives away from home. Or perhaps their self-reliance is allowing me time to really listen in lieu of focusing on the mechanics of mothering during our shared moments. In any case, they're now teaching me more about myself than I've ever consciously sought to learn.

What I do know is that between giving birth to them, bringing them up to the best of my ability with my amazing husband, and letting them go follow their own dreams, I became a much more fulfilled, aware, conscientious and caring human being. My children saved me from my only-child selfishness and taught me to play well with others. Motherhood has taught me to share without question, to love without bounds, and to understand that it is not only possible, but required, to not take personally the moods of a tormented teenager or give credence to the publicly thrown temper tantrum of a toddler.

Epiphanous moments, though? Those have resulted from late-night conversations on the patio where for some reason, the inhibitions evaporate and it's all about honest sharing, no filters, with my kids. Summer nights and moonlight have prompted no end of personal pursuits, including but certainly not limited to dusting off my manuscript, exploring volunteer opportunities with a local organization close to my heart, seriously contemplating pursuing my Masters degree, focusing more on personal development, and accepting that I will always feel best with very short hair, wearing heels and jeans, and being in the company of my close family. Moments of insight, I've begun to appreciate, can be both deep and shockingly shallow, it seems. Also good to know.

And mostly, that I will always be Mom to them, and that the definition of that word changes over time, as it should, as our babies grow up and pursue their futures with a passion and as we as women continue to develop even as we continue to support our offspring.

There is an eternal connectedness that becomes more beautiful and refined with time, I'm finding. There is no less need for unconditional love or hugs over broken hearts, the only difference is time and distance and the delivery method of the calming, nurturing, endless actions of motherhood.

And now as I adjust to the nest that is full no longer, I realize my biggest challenge may be that of engaging and stretching myself, my boundaries, my perspectives and my dreams as I move toward my own boundless and rich future. Because my babies, they are doing just fine.

I love a good challenge, and I cannot wait to see what unfolds as I look forward, embrace life's next offerings, and become the next version of myself.

3 Responses...

Anonymous says:
April 19, 2011 at 8:01 PM
loved this! thank you!
Anonymous says:
April 20, 2011 at 6:36 AM
Anonymous says:
April 22, 2011 at 12:45 PM
beautiful! thank you!
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