When life gets messy

From the Heart

I’ve always said, “Mess with me, fine, mess with my kids, not so fine.”

It does not matter that my kids are 40 and 36, they are still my kids and I am still their mama bear. I am now mama bear to their spouses as well.

As they were growing up, I allowed them to face most of their battles on their own. I wanted them to learn to use their voices to present their arguments in defense of their thoughts and feelings.

Trust me, at times, I wanted to step into their world and give someone a piece of my mind or just flat out beat the tar out of those who harmed them in any way (as my mother would say).

Life is hard. Watching your kids deal with it is even harder.

It’s not just lions, tigers and bears out there. It’s Grinches, Grouches and people who are just downright not so nice. When my kids have to deal with them I find myself in my mama bear mode.

I sit back and try to reassure them that everything will work out . . . eventually.

I offer my advice knowing that they know what I’m going to say because I have said it time and time again. “In time, this will just be a bad memory and you will be stronger for having gone through this.”

The Serenity Prayer covers so many things. I pray it over my kids. “Help them to change the things that they can change. Help them to accept what they cannot change. Please Lord, give them the wisdom to know the difference. And please, give them strength to endure.”

I will never understand why people cannot treat others the way they want to be treated. I will never understand why people have to make life so difficult for others. I will never understand a selfish heart.

I know I have been called a Pollyanna. I do believe that difficult problems can be overcome with a positive attitude and persevering grit. Sometimes, more grit than attitude.

My prayers have not always been answered in the way that I wanted. My kids have seen that. I like answers wrapped up neat and sweet and just the way I want them to be. Often they are answered late and messy, worn and ragged. I often feel the same, definitely worn out, both physically and emotionally.

The truth is that I feel worn out and battered after watching my kids go through difficult circumstances.

I cannot control circumstances. I cannot control people. Lord knows I have tried.

I can give my kids a soft place to fall. I can give my kids the soft voice of reason. I can give my kids the reassurance that someday it will get better.

So for now this mama bear will muzzle her mouth, hand over her big girl panties to her daughter and hope that the new year brings fewer Grinches and Grouches with which to deal.

By the way, I did make it home on Christmas to be with my sweet mother. The 45-minute layover in Atlanta rocked!