Growing Pains: How Hurting Helps

I just don’t think I can do it, y’all. My oldest came home from school yesterday branded with her “Senior 2020” shirt. She beamed as she turned around modeling her school colors.

I literally felt like I had been punched in the gut.

She wanted me to be happy for her and get excited with her. But I just couldn’t do it. Not yet.

And since motherhood is an unrelenting profession, my youngest also came home late from being out with friends last night and wanted to ‘spill the tea.’ Y’all know that’s just slang for catching up, right? Ok. It took me a few times to catch on to that one. She sat there talking to me about things that are really hard. She’s got so much confidence, that kid. Then suddenly, it hit her. Middle School is over next week. She’ll walk out of the last 3 wonderfully awkward years of her life and into a big scary 4 years that defines who she is.

And she started crying. “Mommy! I don’t want to go! I’m not ready!”

In that moment I was faced with the decision to either cry with her, or lie and tell her it would all be ok. Let’s face it. It will not ALL be ok. High School is hard and it knocks you around a bit.

The truth is, if we all waited until we were ready for all the things we wouldn’t do any of the things.

I keep looking at all your pictures on Facebook of how brave you all are. Celebrating last days. Graduations. Moving on. Growing up. And as much confidence that I have in my girls that they can rock the Senior year and survive Freshman Academy, I just don’t think I have it in me to keep encouraging them when I want to curl up and hide myself.

So, here’s the thing. The biggest, scariest, most challenging moments in our lives are also the greatest, most wonderful, rewarding things in our lives. Facing our Giants armed with only a few tiny pebbles is what makes us stronger and more triumphant.

When Lucy was little, she suffered from growing pains.  She was six or seven years old, but it was like having a newborn again. She’d wake up in the middle of the night calling for me until I would go into her room and rub her legs to ease the pain. We would do that night after night. Until one night she didn’t need me to do that anymore.

Growing hurts.

Moving on from the comfortable little middle school or standing on the edge of the nest and stretching your Senior wings is scary. Until you finally take the leap and realize the wind resistance against you is what you needed to make you fly after all.

I’m bound to cry a lot in the next 365 days. My girls will too. I know I will ache so bad I’ll wish someone would come to rub out my growing pains. But, I’m also hoping that through it all, when it’s finally time (ok, y’all where are those tissues??) to let go of the things we have come to love so much,  my girls will look back and realize how much strength they really had. And how, really, they made me the better person.

 

 

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