Mood: don't ask
Now Playing: PS2 Harry Potter V Game
Over 200 years ago many of our ancestors or ancestors of our in-laws or someone else we might know were knuckling down and preparing to do whatever it took to gain their independence from England and King George. Those courageous men and women could have ultimately been hanged as traitors if America hadn't become its own nation.
Yet how often in the last 30 years have I seen the battle for independence from something in my own life? At 17 I found myself independent (more or less) living over 900 miles away from where I grew up. I've seen other family members who have taken their stab at independence that just happened to fall on the 4th of July. I've been in a group of grieving family members saying good-bye to a loved one on the 4th of July not too long ago. I've been a witness to how things can spiral out of control on Independence Day.
As fireworks explode over head to celebrate the birth of our country, I often wonder if that's what inner turmoil would look like if it was visible for all to see. Would there be sparks of color jettisoned against a black canvas? The duds that don't explode are they the whimper of our sobs catching in our throat? The many rockets exploding at the end - the culmination of our anger, distress, sorrow and resignation - in order to feel normal again?
Being a mom is a lot like Independence day. Sometimes the fireworks are so bright they blind you. Other times they are so perfect in their exploding form, you see all the angles, each rivulet of fire streaking toward the ground, and more that you hadn't intended on. It's hearing the distress in your child's voice and feeling as if your heart has broken into a million jagged edges cutting so deep that you wonder if the cuts will ever heal. It's holding back the sobs that seem to want to spring from deep within your gut in order to remain that calm, strong person everyone thinks you are. It's letting go of the hopes and dreams you had, and letting go of the hopes and dreams your child has had, and reconciling the person they are with the person you try to see behind their mask. It's knowing truths that only belong to other people. It's loving so hard and so strong that the one thing on earth you want to do is the one thing you can't - take away all the pain, hurt and despair. To fit those around your own shoulders and take the weight off your child's. Motherhood is feeling like soaring into the heavens in the joy of your child's laugh, their bright smiling eyes, and the way they see the world. It's wanting to freeze moments so they can be plucked down from the shelf just to relive and remember. It's wanting to share their happiness and excitement. It's wanting everyone in the world to know how deeply you love this person.
Motherhood is a lot like independence. The good and the bad. But . . . the joy of being a mother never leaves and is especially deep in the bad. My children and grandchildren - I love you more than you could ever imagine and I wish to you - Happy Independence Day!