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Just in case your kids forget to say Happy Mother’s day, I am saying it to the bravest, smartest, most capable and resilient people on the planet...MOMS! We have to have hearts softer than a pat of butter and hides as thick as a rhino’s as we love deeply and let go just a freely. Here is a story for you, Competent and Caring Mom!

Push Me Higher, Mommy

My daughter Sarah was born brave. As the oldest of my three kids, she definitely fit the characteristics written about the oldest child. A natural high-achiever, when she first learned to talk it was it full sentences. Within a week of her first step, she was running to meet her dad as he walked through the door each evening. The second I sat her on a swing set she shouted, “Push me higher, Mommy. Now turn loose.” So I don’t know why it came as such a surprise when she told me she was considering enlisting in the military.

At twenty-eight years old, in the middle of her doctoral studies in psychology, Sarah decided that she wanted to help soldiers returning from Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder. Her husband, Shaun, was all for it. Shaun had served terms in Iraq just before he became an EMT. He was even considering reenlisting to join his wife in the Air Force. I’m glad he’s supportive, but I’m not convinced that my daughter will be all right in the military while our country is at war--the thoughts resonated in my head.

 I did my best to form my worries into prayers as I considered my daughter’s desire. I wondered where she be stationed. She assured us that her work would keep her out of harm’s way, but I knew our daughter. She was the kid who wanted to drive four hours from work to the coast to meet us on our vacation only a month after she got her driver’s license! I worried she would volunteer for hazard duty. I was concerned about her stress level, too, while dealing with so much post-traumatic stress in others. I hadn’t shared these concerns with her because I never wanted to be a meddling mother. If she believed the Lord wanted her to help soldiers, who was I to get in her way?

As hard as I tried, I struggled to be okay with my petite, beautiful daughter becoming an officer in the United States Air Force during wartime. “This was going to require a lot from my trust muscle,” I told the Lord. God is faithful and the more I prayed, the more I felt his peace.

Sarah kept us informed as she received a scholarship in the field of neuro-psychology at one of three Air force bases in the US. She kept us in the loop as she traveled to interview at each base. When she accepted a residency 1400 hundred miles away, I sat aside my mother’s sadness to rejoice with her at this prestigious placement. The week before she left, we made a date at Time for Tea, a darling teahouse in our little town. Tea parties were something we enjoyed since she was barely old enough to hold a teacup. We could always talk more easily over tea.

As we sat across from our salad and scones in the Alice in Wonderland room, it wasn’t what we said but what we didn’t say that was important.

 What I said was, “How’s your salad?” What I didn’t say was, “I will miss you not living down the road from me.”

What Sarah said was, “My salad’s great. I love the dressing.” What she didn’t say was, “I’m scared. I’ve been academic for so long I’ve forgotten how to be physical. I don’t want to be the weakest link at boot camp.”

What I said was, “I hear the base you’re going to is beautiful.” What I didn’t say was, “I’m worried about you having so much stress so far from home, with out me, I mean.”

What Sarah said was, “I met several retired officers who came back to retire near the base because they loved the area so much.” What she didn’t say was, “Shaun and I are finally ready to have kids and it will be hard living 1400 miles away from my mom.”

What I asked was, “Have they sent your uniforms yet?  What I didn’t ask was, “Have I taught you all I can for this challenging task that lies ahead of you?”

What Sarah said was, “They are being altered as we speak. I got combat boots and they look like they are made for little kids!”

What I said was, “Will they call you captain or doctor?” What I didn’t say was, “I’ll miss you so much it hurts, but I won’t tell you that because it might get in the way of all God has for your life.”

What she said was, “I’m not really sure. I guess I’ll find out when I’m there. Let’s order another scone. I can’t get enough of this lemon curd.”

 What I heard was “Push me higher, Mommy. Now let go.” And I did.

 

 

 

Comments

May 23, 2016 @01:48 pm

Tears roll from my face as I read your story. Time flies when our little ones grow up and fly away.

Lisa
May 09, 2016 @08:00 am

I so loved reading this!! Happy Mother's Day beautiful Linda!

Judy
May 08, 2016 @02:40 pm

What a beautiful testimony about the challenges of motherhood !!!! Thanks for sharing it.

Nora
May 06, 2016 @01:12 pm

Beautiful!

Roberta
May 06, 2016 @01:09 pm

That was beautiful, Linda!!

Mariann
May 06, 2016 @01:08 pm

Thank you Linda, that was so sweet, it made me cry. Happy Mother's Day :) thanks for sending that. Happy Mother;s day to you.

Renee
 

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