I hate feeling helpless.
Somewhere along the way, I picked up the idea that being a parent meant always having the answers and being able to fix everything. Of course, it is ridiculous to think that, but the fantasy dies hard.
I recently had a conversation with one of my kids that was so heart-wrenching I almost couldn't bear it. There was a lot of crying, the shoulder-heaving kind of crying, and the feelings of despair were palpable. I decided not to offer a lot of quick one-liners and easy fixes because, let's be honest, sometimes in life there aren't easy fixes. I mostly just listened...and felt helpless.
I laid in bed for a long time thinking about our talk and feeling like I had somehow failed. If I was really doing a good job as a parent, how could my kid be having such a hard time?? Why couldn't I think of anything really helpful and amazing to say? Then, it hit me. I had done exactly what I needed to do and all that I could do...I had been there.
Being there is important, you know? Can't you think of times when someone just sat with you and somehow that seemingly small action infused you with strength? I sure can. And that realization made me feel so powerful as a Mom.
There are a ton of things that I cannot do for my children. I can't fix every problem they face. I can't make certain people like them. I can't stop them from dealing with negative emotions. I can't make this transition to living in a new state happen any quicker.
But, this is what I can do.
I can pray for them. I can love them. I can provide a peaceful atmosphere in our home. I can listen to them. I can hug them. I can believe in them. I can be their biggest fan.
And, at the end of the day, I can rest knowing that God loves them even more than I do and they are firmly in His hand.