I got a call from my daughter today who was extremely upset. It tears at my heart. I don’t think our kids truly understand how our hearts hurt when they they are suffering. The call reminded me that I wrote about this years ago when my son was close to finishing his college years and was going through a rough time.
Now it’s my daughter’s turn. I hope I was helpful on the phone. I hope she gets through this period of her life where she’s facing hurdles. All I can do is listen. Hopefully, it’s enough that she knows I love her.
This is what I wrote five years ago:
“You’re only as happy as your least happy child.” I heard a friend say this recently. I do believe it’s true. When you see your kids happy, you’re happy, too. When they are smiling and proud of their accomplishments or in love, we feel thrilled for them.
On the flip side, when they’re struggling, we have an ache in our hearts.
My son had a horrific last week of college, but managed to get through it alive. I got several phone calls where he wasn’t sure if he’d make it. He had five papers to write, plus finals, and I doubt he slept much.
I kept telling him using a swim race analogy, “You’re under the flags. Keep going. You can do it.”
I also received relieved phone calls as each hurdle was overcome. Today, he’s coming home for a brief stop before he starts his new life. I’m a worrier and I’m wondering how is he sleeping? How is he going to drive a U-Haul trailer with his worldly possessions up to his new life? How will he survive on his own?
My daughter was home for a week and it was a pure joy for me. She got me out of bed at 4:50 a.m. and drove me to swim practice. I loved the beauty of the early morning and the shifting lights in the water as the sun rose. By the time we were done, I felt elated. It wasn’t even 7 a.m. and I felt like I had accomplished so much. I hope to continue on with the early morning practices, although I must admit I’m back to my noon routine today. At least I’m going. Right?
Besides swimming, we hiked at the Tram, went shopping, got pedicures, went out to lunch and hung out together. The constant activity was different than my normal quiet writing days.
I love having my kids home. But, I’m proud they have their own lives and are ready to take on the world without me.
P.S. On the last morning, my daughter, husband and I took a walk. We noticed we had company. Olive the cat followed quietly a few feet behind us. We’d stop to look at her and she’d look the other way. Finally, we stopped several blocks away to admire an apricot standard poodle. Olive decided that was enough. She stopped for good. When we returned home, several miles later, Olive was nowhere to be found. I retraced our steps and called “Here kitty, kitty.” She leaped out of the bushes across the street from where we saw the poodle. She was terrified and confused. She wouldn’t let me touch her but after one pitiful “meow” she followed me. When she finally recognized our neighborhood, her tail went up and she jetted all the way to our house leaving me behind.
What are your thoughts about “You’re only as happy as your least happy child?” Do you think it’s true? Have you experienced sadness because your child is upset or unhappy?
I have 5 kids and I’ve often said that, with so many, there is always one I’m insanely proud of and one who is driving me to my knees in prayer and the kid who occupies each seat rotates daily. With kids, life is never just “blah” and I guess I wouldn’t want it to be 😉
I’m impressed! With two I find I’m praying for one or both daily.
This saying is so true! Any time my kids are troubled, I too get unhappy and upset. Thanks for sharing your story
Thank you, today was so much harder for me than what I wrote about. I’m thankful for your support.
You’re welcome! With 2 daughters, I’m constantly feeling the turmoils they experience. I think this will get a bit easier as we grow older.
I hope so but so far it hasn’t.
Lol, same here!
Completely agree. When my kid hurts I hurt worse.
It was a really bad day for me yesterday.
I feel this so deeply.
This is a lesson I’ve learned over and over in the 21 years I’ve been a mother. You believe it gets easier as they get older, but it actually becomes harder. Nobody discusses that aspect of parenting.
Sending you a hug.
You are exactly right. Thanks!
I agree with you. Great post! With two kids of my own, I understand!! Cute kitty by the way!
I thought it would get easier as they got older. But it just gets different. The kitty is much easier!
I agree with you! Different is a nice way to put it…easier and harder at the same time.
It’s not as physically hard, but it can be emotionally.
That is a meaningful title! I think I would have been an overprotective man. My step children’s tales and now my grandchildren’s tales keep me up questioning a few things.
Sorry, I meant overprotective mom, kind of like a overprotective ‘man.’
I knew what you meant. I think my husband and I were both overprotective!