~ Proverbs 1:8,9 ~
Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
They are a garland to grace your head
and a chain to adorn your neck.
This passage speaks to me as the child, and touches upon the same thing I spoke to my youngest three about on the weekend, and that is: I don't believe children really appreciate the wisdom of their parents until their parents pass on. I know I didn't. In fact, it wasn't until after my mother's death that I started to view her as a woman, from a woman's point of view, figuring she must've known more about being a woman than I ever asked her about.
When my mother was alive, I viewed her through the heart of a daughter, and one who needed answers. At times I viewed my mum through my heartache, through the worries of my childhood, through my insecurities and lack of understanding, and other times I viewed her as my children's grandmother, and so on. But not as the passionate woman she was.
If I could have my mum back today, I would take her out for lunch (though I'd have to argue with her over who's paying the bill, as she preferred to pay her own way in life and that of her children, whenever she could :) ), and I'd do my best to have her not think of me as daughter, nor I think of her as mum, but to have the both of us talking as women, sharing dreams and hopes and passions.
The more I look back at my mum, when she was with us, the more I see how passionate she was, how loving she was, and how much she sacrificed of her own life for her kids. I want to know that woman. I want to know what she was anticipating from life when she was a child. What did she long for as a teen? Was she a troubled teen? Was she excited about the future? Did she have plans? Insecurities? Fears...? How did she cope with heartbreak? And what of her as an adult. How many years prior to my parents' separation did the breaking of her heart cause her to turn her cold towards my dad? Did he love her right?
Oh, the questions I would ask her...and my dad. He's gone, too. There are things I'd like to know how him now that I cannot ask him now. I want to know what made him tick. What made both of them tick. And I would listen to their experiences and seek the voice of wisdom within... What I'd give to be able to do that.
I keep my heart as open to my kids - about who I am, not just about being a mum - as best I can, hoping wisdom leads my tongue. They know they can ask me anything. I want them to know me. I want them to know the woman I am, not just the mum they know they can find anytime just by looking for her computer. ;)
Do your children know you? Have you let them in...? Or do you keep the door closed between you, leaving them to guess at who you are; leaving them to judge your character by whatever mood confronts them when they're in your presence...?
When I chose to have children, it was because I wanted them with all my heart...so isn't it fair that I give them free access to all of that heart, opening the door to them when they knock on it? Chances are, if I don't keep my heart open to them, they're not going to care what "wisdom" I do or do not possess.
I don't want to lay there on my last day of life and have my children look at me as though they never knew me. I want them to know I love/d them with all that I am, in the best way that I could - no matter how faulty that may have appeared - and that I offered 'instruction' and 'teaching' not because I wanted to control them, not because I wanted them to be carbon copies of me, but because I loved them and wanted to see them safe. And I want them to say they knew me as others knew me, as Donna Keevers Driver, not just as mum.
Well, that's how I'd instruct my kids to love theirs... :)xxx