I think...one of the toughest things EVER about being a parent...is seeing your child hurting.
Whether it's the physical pain of a broken foot (or nose...or arm...or collar bone...we seem to have covered it all in our house over the years), or the emotional pain of a broken heart...it's so gut-wrenching to know that there's not a lot you can do - as a parent - to take the pain away.
I've been spending the last two days getting caught up with stuff here at home in Kansas City...and besides the usual housework, bill paying, grocery shopping, laundry marathon - there's the special and crucial time that's needed to sit down with the kids to find out just how their lives are going.
This is something that will never stop - no matter how old my kids get - and no matter how far apart we may be physically. There's nothing I enjoy more, I think, than to just sit down and chill out with my kids.
Noticing my 19-year old son was a little 'down in the dumps', I eventually got him to open up about some relationship troubles he's been having lately with the girl that he's liked more than forever. It drives me NUTS that I can't just wish away all the pain...and I told him that, actually. I told him that as a parent, I'd do anything to never have my kids experience pain - or to experience a life that's not fair sometimes - but, unfortunately, I can't. Life DOES hurt and life ISN'T always fair - and that sucks, for sure...all I can do is to be a good listener when they need one, and to give my kids the tools they need to handle life's adversities.
I'm so very fortunate that I have good relationships with all of my kids...where we've set up lines of good and open and honest communication...where they feel free and non-threatened to come and talk to me about anything, and know that I'll be there, non-judgmental, with advice, if they want it. There's not much that I can't talk to my kids about - whether it's about school, drugs, alcohol, sex - or relationships...and I'm so blessed. I am truly blessed.
As a mother, I hurt when my kids hurt...and maybe, that's all they need - to know that they have empathetic parents who will be there when life gets in the way.
So...today was spent hanging out with my son...and I think that's right where I needed to be.