Tonight my husband and I were discussing our daughters and their boyfriends. As is usually the case when this subject comes up, we marvel over how different things are today—compared with how they were when the two of us were in high school light years ago. Then we review the current relationships situation and finally we move on to possible outcomes. This evening my husband took the doom-and-gloom perspective; usually that’s my role.
Listening to him, it suddenly occurred to me, “What do I want for my daughters?” Not just in these teenage romances, nor even their education objectives or career goals, but what are my dreams for my children for the rest of their lives? Do I even have any? Have I envisioned their future? How do I love and pray for them?
I thought about parents who want or expect their offspring to become doctors, lawyers, priests, mothers, musicians—without taking into account God’s plan for those children. Do I do that? I don’t think so; I hope not.
I started seeing this ‘letting go and letting God’ philosophy from a much broader and bigger vantage point. So what do I want for the girls?
I don’t know.
Some days I don’t know how to work out my own life, what I should do next, if I need to change this or get rid of that—how can I possibly be qualified for this huge responsibility of parental authority figure? In one sense I’m not qualified and never will be. But in another, I’m qualified by virtue of the fact that these children have been given to me by God.
After some thought I told my husband, “It all comes down to this: I want them to go to Heaven. I don’t know how they’re going to get there. It may be that like their silly old mom, they have to go down some dead-end streets, over a few waterfalls, even a cliff or two, take plenty of detours and always always always carry a cross ... or two.” So in the end, the ‘how’ doesn’t matter. It’s the getting there that matters.
I’m a mom who loves her children. Very much. But even so, I don’t love my children anymore than the Lady of Sorrows. Without Her Son’s Cross none of us could ever reach Heaven.
My oldest daughter collects crosses and crucifixes of all sorts. She has quite a collection as you can see. She started her collection at her First Communion when she received several crosses as gifts. Since then, we’ve continued to give her unusual crosses as gifts for other special occasions. It has made me more aware of the Cross as sacred symbol.
On this the Feast of the Exaltation of Holy Cross, I pray my children, husband and I have enough crosses to get us to Heaven.