We love our children because we cannot help ourselves…it is not with a particular end result in mind, save allowing them to be happy, healthy, and strong. Somewhere along the way, we receive their love in return in the form of smiles, hugs, and words. I cherish those moments, especially as my oldest daughter enters her “tween” years and beyond. I cherish my youngest saying words I was not sure she would ever utter…”I love you, momma”.
As we age and our own relationships with our parents change, I wonder how my relationships with my daughters will morph over the years to come. Certainly their are differences between siblings, differences that are magnified when there are special needs that may need to be addressed into adulthood. I anticipate that to be the case with us on some level, for sure. To what extent, we have no indication. I often think it is some huge question mark that most families don’t have to struggle with, yet this really is not the truth. When I think back on it, I have known families over the years that have struggled with neuro-typical children in their adulthood…some to a very significant degree. The fact is, none of us know what the future holds.
Not only do we know nothing of the future for our children, beyond our hopes and dreams for them; we know just as little about ourselves. Will we be here for our children, will we see our grandchildren, will our children ultimately care for us? Sometimes all of these questions and the potential for so many different answers can be overwhelming. We can plan for some scenarios and hope for the best…whatever that may be.
Recently my lovely momma went through an emergency surgery situation, throwing us all for a bit of a loop…it was as if time stopped. The path we had been on prior to this was comfortable and predictable. Healthy and very active, mom has always been a steady and strong force in our lives. This curveball shifted all of these “norms” for us. Not surprising to me, but still reassuring, my sisters and I stepped in to do all we could to help mom with recovery. Truly, I would be with her still if work and my own family weren’t in need of me. As a wonderful side effect to a generally scary and sobering situation, I was able to spend the better part of three weeks with mom. I really didn’t want to leave. I feel so fortunate to have this relationship with her, to be able to be there for her, as I know she would be for me.
I guess, even with the uncertainty all of our futures hold, one thing I can say for sure is that I hope…when the day comes that I am in need…that my daughters will be there, in mind, body, and spirit, the way we are for mom. Full circle.