Nobody Told Me About This

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They warned me about colic, unpredictable sleeping patterns, and possibly, mastitis, in the first six months. And because they did, I knew what to do.

They told me to let go of the balancer wheels so she could learn to bike on her own, to let her play with the neighborhood kids so she could make friends, and to let her run errands at the corner store so she could develop confidence. And because they did, I loosened my grasp but still kept watch.

They said it was alright to let her play basketball, to learn the drums, and to take driving lessons. They said it was alright for her to join groups and meet other people. She doesn't have to learn everything from you, they said. You have to trust that you raised her well, they said. And because they did, I let go and trusted.

She came home downcast, but heroically putting on a brave front. I am her mom so when she skipped dinner with us and retired early, I knew that the brave front was wearing thin, and she did not want us to see that.

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Nobody told me that one day, she would be rejected and her trust would be betrayed by the very people who talked to her about unconditional love and acceptance, by the very people she trusted to love her and accept her, unconditionally.

Nobody told me that I would be betrayed by the people I chose to entrust my fledgling adult of a child to.

Nobody told me that one day, my child would be hurt no matter how I have, in the past, tried to prevent that from happening.

Nobody told me that in her hurt, she would not be totally open to me, or at least not yet, and probably not for a long time. That she would probably and unknowingly nurse her hurt in silence. That scares me. What if, in her silence, she chooses to nurse bitterness rather than understanding and forgiveness? What if, in her bitterness, her cheerful and trusting self morphs into an angry, suspecting, and paranoid person?

I want my daughter to look forward with optimism; I don't want her to be frequently looking over her shoulder for the imagined persecutor. I want her to heal. I want her sense of trust for other people -- all God's creatures, I have to painfully remind my own self -- to be restored. Crippled and mended trust is still trust, and that's good enough for anyone.

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For now, though, I hope that my daughter will step back and allow herself to be guided by an inner peace that comes from trusting Him who will never betray and who loves unconditionally in the one true sense of the word. I hope she will sit at His feet and listen with her heart, mind, and soul. Then, like our Blessed Mother, I hope that she will keep all those things and ponder them in her heart (Luke 2:19*).

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:17*)

*The Biblical quotations come from The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition, Ignatius Press. 


  1. I'm sorry for your daughters painful experience. Sometimes I think I was told this motherhood thing got easier as they grew older, but I haven't found that to be the case. God bless you both.

    1. Thank you very much, Mary. My heart is warmed when other moms empathize with me. Blessings to you, too.


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