I remember the day I announced to my mother that I was leaving my home country like it was yesterday. To this day I cannot imagine what she felt like during that moment. Me being the youngest of four, I was definitely the most spoiled and cared for. I was 19 at the time and my exact words were “Mom oh my god why are you so upset? I’m only going for one year. It’s not like I will never come home again.” For the people who know me, you will probably be laughing reading this, because as you know I’m going on 30 years of having left Germany. Once more I must admit she was right, and I was wrong. Her fears were that I would never return; find a handsome young man, fall in love, get married and have lots of babies. That I would forget about her and have more important things to do than being with her. I was her baby, her last one. We had grown close over the years as she was a single mother and all my siblings were much older than me and now had their own lives. For the past few years it was she and I.
I am not saying that I have had better things to do or forgot about my mother. It has been difficult being this far apart. Going to Germany with four children, between work and everything else that comes with life, it definitely has been a challenge. I never have forgotten about her though. I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t think about her. We talk every so often and could probably talk more if she would actually turn on her cellphone, but then she is 85 and a cell phone is not anything she is used to having. I love my mother and always will, no matter how far away I am from her. In my heart I am always close.
My mother never tried to hold me back from leaving. She never once said, “don’t go,” “I want you to stay here with me”. For that I am most grateful for at all times. I know this was one of the most difficult decisions she had to make. I know this was not what she wanted, but her love for me gave her the courage to let me experience my life the way I needed to experience it, and even though she was scared to lose me, she knew it was something I needed to do for myself. She knew she needed to let go. The reason I left was not because I was in search of a better life, which was never the case. I love my family and home country, but it was to find me, to figure out who I was; what I wanted from life. To this day I believe that my mother gave me the greatest gift she could have ever given me. Because if she had not given me the chance to experience life the way I needed to, I am not sure who I would be today. I am not sure if I would have had the privilege of being a mother, which by the way is the greatest privilege anyone can get. It’s like winning the Olympic gold medal, despite the hard times that come with parenthood, in the end its all worth it, including the extreme pains of labor.
Coming to a milestone in my life where my youngest child, now 17 will be going off to college next year, I know it will be hard for me as well to let go. Even though I have plans for myself, I will miss her, as I miss my older daughter who is away at college right now. Both of my sons are still in town but even though and I see them weekly (which I love) I also miss them being little boys just as I miss my girls being little girls. On the other hand, I am very proud of my children and excited about watching what their life’s will bring them. I may not agree with all the decisions they make and that’s ok, because in the end it really doesn’t matter what I want for my children. What matters is what my children want for themselves. If that means traveling the world or staying in their home town for the rest of their lives, becoming parents, seeking a millionaire’s career, traveling the world or living a simple life, it is completely up to them and my job as a mother is to support exactly that. Who am I to determine where my children should or could find happiness, and the life they choose to pursue? It is hard to let go as mother, but it is also an honor, to know you did the best you could raising your children preparing them for life as much as you can, and being able to give them the freedom to discover their true self. This is truly what I want to give my children. The experience my mother gave to me. Letting them find themselves, using their own speed, decision making skills, courage, drive and dreams that will bring them to the places they want to be and the people they want to be there with.
To me it is the greatest pleasure to watch my children become their true selves and that makes me a proud mother.
I am a first-time grandmother now and I must say the part of watching your son become a father is absolutely priceless. Being a grandmother is the reward for raising children becoming parents. Me becoming a grandparent gives me the privilege to love and play all over again without all of the above.
To all the mothers reading this, I hope you found some pleasure reading my blog and are enjoying the show of what amazing creatures you have created and raised. All our hard work, worries, diaper changes, late night feedings, consistencies, late night homework assignments, daily dinners, art projects, Santa clauses, the time-outs and the oh my gosh what to pack for lunch, the days of runny noses and cuddle in bed times. The learning how to crawl, walk, ride a bike and drive a car times. The many birthdays, the proud and happy times but also the hurt and sad times we have gone through. These times have finally paid off and now it is time to watch our masterpieces conquer the world as we know it. So, this Mothers-day I wish you all the most amazing day, I hope you are enjoying the show as much as I.