It is Mother’s Day back home in America…and I am catching huge flack for the way that Olaf is punishing Rachel for ‘being a Mom’ in Ægir’s Bride. Well, here is what I have to say to Petrine…woman to woman, sub to sub and especially Mommy to Mama…
Your Master is right…100% right. The biggest and hardest part of being a good mother is learning to let go. From the moment, they leave our bodies that is our jobs. First, it is weaning them from that intensely close and beautiful nursing relationship. Then it is watching them take those first steps…steps that will take them from you. And even when like me you homeschool, it is about opening the world to them, not keeping it from them or them safe from it. And the teen years, let’s don’t even talk about all the problems then…but psychologists tell us that is a really healthy thing. Our children are becoming their own people. And then they become adults…and start families of their own.
Don’t get me wrong…I am NOT saying that it is easy…letting them go. Standing back and watching them screw up. We want to protect them still. We have been there. We know they are going to be hurt. Going to hurt themselves or others. We can see it coming. And we want with everything inside of us to do what we did when they were little…draw boundaries and tell them what they should do…all in the name of protecting them. But we cannot. It does not work. They need to be adults…they need to learn for themselves.
I had coffee this week with my older daughter. It was amazing…laughter, tears and sharing between ‘almost’ equals. Two adults. Two friends. You see she was going on her first date after the break up of her first serious relationship. She wanted to talk to me…because none of her friends understood. They kept telling her that she should just be over it by now. But she knew she could come to me, she knew she could trust me…not as her Mommy, but as her friends for the support she needed.
But she could not have done that IF I had acted like her mother during that relationship. You see…I hated the little putz. It was worse because what he was doing wrong in their relationship was the exact same thing that had ended my last relationship. That hurt. That made me mad. It made me want to scream… And I kept in mostly inside. The only time I said anything to her about it was the once when she asked…and then I did so not as a mother might but as her friend…just as she was asking her other friends as well. And trust me…that was damned hard to do. Especially when she told me, ‘okay, I heard what you said, now I don’t want to talk about it anymore.’ But I respected that boundary too. That was why she could come to me when she could not come to any other of her friends.
As I was writing this open letter to you, Rachel, my son in China Skyped me. He has been going through a bit of stuff with work lately so I thought he needed to talk the way that my daughter had. But instead he wished me a ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ and then he said he wanted to read me something. I started crying when he began reading Robert Munsch’s Love You Forever. Then he started crying too.
And I wondered…how can this book that I read to them so much as children…the story of an almost psychotic mother, who sneaks into her grown son’s house with a ladder and picks him up and rocks him back and forth, back and forth, singing…”I love you forever, I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.” How can that possible be the same mother that took that son and his friend (as adults of course) with her to a BDSM club?The mother-in-law who has corrupted her innocent daughter-in-law into sending her son funny and sexy pics? The mother who found the strength to shut up and let her daughter be hurt?
Then Rachel, I realized something…the two are not mutually exclusive. They will always be your babies. No one can or should take that from you. But like that mother in that amazing book, we need to hide that love just a bit. We need to let them go… That book ends with her son, a new daddy, singing that same song to his baby girl. Because you see the only way we can truly perpetuate the cycle is when we do make that break and let them be the amazing people we raised them to be. Warts and all.
So thank you, Rachel, and my own little Bjorn for reminding me on this Mother’s Day…that the best mothers are those who kick their baby birds out of the nest, but who always keep that nest alive in their hearts. With a little help from the man, who loves you, I think you can make that transition too. And he is right…all of you will be better off for you remembering who and what you really are. Even if it is a ‘painful’ lesson.