This past weekend was Mother’s Day, and it got me thinking a lot about my parents, and what it really means to be a parent.
At mass on Sunday, we of course recognized all of the mothers and the hard work they do for their children. However, it was really Fr. Gary’s homily that resonated with me. He asked, “What is the main purpose for a mother?” Realistically, a mother’s main goal should be to instruct her children about life well enough that at some point, she can comfortably let them go.
In general, this is a parent’s purpose. Specifically, it seemed like my parents did this overly well.
There were a lot of times growing up where I felt like my parents had no problems “letting go” and making us act like adults (especially in terms of personal responsibility). As a young child, my dad was hardly around. And recently, my mother just up and moved half a country away.
But as Fr. Gary pointed out, we aren’t always given the parents we want…but the parents we need to become the people we need to become.
My mother moving away has allowed me to become closer to my dad. He, his fiancee, my hubby were my support system as my wedding approached. My dad was a parent when my mom could not be. My mom leaving has helped me (and my siblings) grow up fully.
I was given the opportunity to reconcile with my father and get to know him as an adult. I now understand why he wasn’t around when I wanted him to be when I was younger. And honestly, it has probably helped me from making some of the same mistakes he did.
We all react differently to how our parents raise us. Although our parents are supposed to be the ones to let us go, as children, we sometimes need to let them go.
My parents are human. They have their flaws. But at the end of the day, I truly believe they have tried to do right by us kids. And I think, that’s all we can ask of our parents.