Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day - My Heart Overflows with Love

It's been a lovely weekend. Yesterday, my husband took me to a private viewing of the new Spiderman movie and then to lunch at a great little cafe in a neighboring village. He gave me a lovely mother's day card and thoroughly spoiled me. He's still my prince and I love him dearly.

I received four phone calls today wishing me a happy Mother's day from all three sons and my daughter-in-law. I light up when I talk with them. They and my DH are such a joy to know and be with. And my grandson, he's too young to converse on the phone at this time but I heard him giggling in the background -- he lights me up too.

I have loved being a mother to our sons. When they were young, we played silly games, went hunting for salamanders and tadpoles, took hikes to do tree identification portfolios (homework for school and Royal Rangers), and hunted for treasures along a portion of rail trail in the miles of woods behind our house. They would create their own plays and use my husband's video camera to film each other or Frank and I would film the three of them. Sometimes, they would play the old taped Star Trek episodes, turn down the sound, and record their ad-libbed version of the scripted dialog. What fun! And funny! They are still creative in their adulthood, on and off their jobs.

When I've examined my feelings for them, I find it amazing that my love for each of them knows no bounds. They each totally captured my heart before they were born and they have continued to capture my mind and emotions more and more each day since birth. I love the men they have become and are still becoming. It boggles my brain that a mother's heart can hold a limitless love for so many people. But there is another love that completely blows me away.

I'm head over heels in love with another little boy, my grandson. I didn't carry him in my body feeling him squirm or kick me in places no other human has ever touched. I didn't get up for what seemed like endless nights of night-time feedings. I haven't worked with him on a daily basis, encouraging him and watching him grow day by day to see him reach each milestone of development. I haven't greeted him every morning of his life with an exchange of hugs and kisses and taken care of his daily needs. I've only seen him every couple of months in the nineteen months of his young life. How can this incredible, aching love exist when we've shared so little?

I have friends who have many grandchildren. When trying to explain their crazy love for them they have always ended with the words, "You'll just have to experience it for yourself. It can't be explained in words."

Well, now that I am experiencing it, I have a theory. You can laugh at it and say that I'm a flaky middle aged woman but it's the only explanation I have that makes sense to me. I think God created something in mothers so that the love I feel for my son is multiplied through the mysterious power of my son's own love for his child, which I can see, sense and feel in him. It rebounds back to me in the form of this overwhelming love for a baby I can't spend enough time with and yet, when I am with him, I feel a deep bond as though I've always known him. That is the best I can do to explain it.

Although they are grown and all out on their own, I still love being a mother to my three sons. And I love being a grandmother to Michael.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Anxiety--Unhealthy Ownership

Anxiety and stress are the buzz words of this decade and, due to an extended period of severe work overload, I had found myself succumbing to the physical and mental effects of it. I had heard or read somewhere that stress can be a positive thing if we embrace it with a sense of discovery and become open to trying new approaches to deal with our stubborn problems or situations. I couldn't think of any and I felt like I was a failure and drowning.

Since starting this job 5-1/2 years ago, the items I had to track on a database had grown to such an extent that I couldn't keep up or get any other tasks completed. My co-worker, who had become my friend, was feeling the same way about her assigned tasks. I had never been one to be lax about my work but, during the last 1-1/2 years, circumstances were overwhelming me to the extent that I felt, for the first time in my life, that I was inadequate to meet the challenges of my job and unable to relieve the stress on my friend. Anxiety was beginning to paralyze my thought process so I couldn't see any way out of this mess. All I could do was pray that a door would open and that I would have the sense enough to recognize the opportunity. I submitted paperwork for a couple of job interviews in other departments but was never called. Recently, my co-worker received a promotion and my supervisor hired a woman who transferred in from another department. Until now, I was very reluctant to assign database work to anyone else after a temporary worker accidently deleted a significant amount of data. But, I felt convinced it was time for a change and I assigned that part of my work to our new employee who seemed to be detail oriented and a multi-tasker. Her last job required handling significant amounts of data. I took over a few tasks that my former co-worker used to do. What a breath of fresh air this has been. I still find we have more work than we can keep up with but we are both happy with our new tasks.

I thank God that I realized the opportunity that was staring me in the face when our new employee started. It may seem like a small thing and perhaps an obvious solution but I tend to take ownership when a job is assigned to me so I become blind to other solutions. I now realize that, there will be times in my life that I need to be ready to release certain things or people close to me. Ownership to the point of not being able to let go of something is not healthy--it's being a slave to it. And, I learned a long time ago, to truly love a person is to let them be free to grow and explore their talents and be truly happy for them.