I’ve come to believe that there is some one missing from my life. That someone is a wiser, older woman. A woman who has raised her kids, but who can still remember the days of waking up in the middle of the night to feed an infant. The tired, lonely days of having a newborn. The quest for patience during the two- and three-year-old toddler days. She remembers how one moment you are belly laughing at something your little one says, and the next minute you want to throw a temper tantrum as big as theirs because they won’t eat what you made for dinner.
This seasoned mama helps you distinguish between the things to be seriously concerned about (yes, it is time to talk to the teacher or that kid’s parents). And she can patiently tell you that Junior is probably just gassy and doesn’t have appendicitis for the 8th time. Actually, that’s what pediatricians are for, and husbands (if you choose to listen to them). I speak from experience on that one.
My mom lives ten hours away in Texas. We are close but what I want, what I need these days, is proximity. Close enough that this Wise Woman will notice all of these gray hairs starting to appear on my head. Wise enough that she will say nothing of them except to tell me that gray steaks are very becoming on me.
An older mom I recently met dropped a little nugget in my lap last week: turn off the electronic devices in the car and listen to your children when you take them from school and pick them up. She said that her boys would just start talking to her about their day. She didn’t have to coax them or question them. As she drove home they just began talking. This little suggestion of hers made me really start to ponder. What else does she know that I don’t?
And what about these other moms who’ve gone before us–the ones whose kids are raised or almost out of the house? They have wisdom to share with me. I want it! I need it!
My oldest daughter began third grade this year. It’s been a social learning experience for both us. Almost daily she’s coming home talking about friends fighting over who she is playing with at recess or sitting next to at lunch. My tool box in how to handle immature 3rd grade girls feels embarrassingly empty. When ignoring the problem didn’t seem to resolve it, I found myself saying, “Let’s talk about this with your dad when he gets home.” Maybe dad will have some incredible insight into eight-year-old girl drama?
This is where the wisdom of the moms who have gone before really comes in handy. In fact, I’d like two or three of these moms on speed dial for these issues.
When you’re in the middle of a problem, often times the issue looks bigger than it is. I keep thinking that if I can just teach Haven how to handle this particular issue well, then she won’t have to deal with this kind of silliness in middle school and high school. She’ll just sail right on through without caring what other people are saying. One and done.
I have much to learn about navigating these paths for my daughters. An older mom’s perspective would be so helpful. She could tell me which issues will pass, which will come up again and again, and which ones I need to don my battle gear for and gear up for confrontation.
If you have an older, wiser mom in your life, consider yourself blessed. If you think you can share her, I’d be ever so grateful.