I Couldn’t See

Our youngest child turns 18 today.  Gulp.

My mothering days are numbered. Can I just say how much I have loved being an everyday mom?  I cannot believe that the time I have left to fill that role can now be numbered in months.

“Your kids will always need their mom,” say some. Yes, yes (insert slight eye-roll), but come on, the role changes dramatically, as it should, when kids reach adulthood!  It’s wonderful, it’s exciting, but it’s not the same, and sameness is what my heart calls out for when I miss what has come and gone.

Recently, I spent some time reading anecdotes I’d recorded about our children’s antics in their early years.  I cried, and my heart ached awhile, but I had to come back to the present and accept that then, as sweet as it was, is not where we are now.

This is a life theme that comes easily to some but that the rest of us simply must adopt. I am learning to embrace the time and place my Father-God grants me. And as I release, I stumble upon a comforting  truth: letting go and embracing the God-appointed here-and- now  allows my vision to  clear to see need and opportunity, blessing and joy all-round me.  Indeed, we can always count on our Father-God to  find a place for us to invest our time and energy. He is not one to waste anything, anyone or any time.

I wrote the following poem about a month ago, after spending time with our older two grown-up children  who are thriving far away, building independent lives.   I pray God’s blessing on my children, on your children, on all children and all those  moms and dads who are  learning  to let go.



I Couldn’t See

I don’t recognize these memories we’re making.

Dreams of motherhood

Didn’t include

Long one-way road trips,

Heart in my throat,

To drop you off

In a faraway city

To begin a new adventure on your own.


I couldn’t,

Or didn’t,

Look far enough into the future

To the place

Where you would assemble

More family

With whom you would share

Your triumphs, your tears, your fears,

Your ordinary days.


My imagination didn’t extend to

Dinners you would cook

And serve me on your rooftop

In your urban paradise

That appears a jungle to me,

A thousand miles from home

Where strangers and commerce

Bustle and bang about the sidewalk.


I couldn’t anticipate you dropping me

Off at the airport

Or returning home without you.

Pausing at your empty room

So quiet now,

Your presence lingers,

But only because of

The little things you left behind-

That which you could do without.


As proud as I am of who you’ve become,

With heart near bursting for all you’ve done,

I’m having to find a way to celebrate

Your independence.


It’s just all so unfamiliar

When I’ve known you

Since before you took a breath,

Your “little” years gobbled up

By the bigger and the better.

I feel like life sped off in a big. rumbling rig

And I’m standing in a cloud of dust left behind.


I confess,

Part of me wants to go with you.

But I know that the Father of us all

Calls you onward and outward,

And I want His good and perfect plan.


So, forgive me if my voice falters

As I smile and swallow some sadness.

It just takes a little time.

Gratefulness will do its grace-filled work,

To steady the heart

And dry the tears.


And sure enough,

As I slip my hand into your dad’s,

His strength warming and optimistic,

I smile at the scene.

For, this is where it all began.

Here I’ll wait for the dust to settle,

Embrace my own, appointed journey,

And bless you on your way.


kpeterson  Sept. 4, 2013

This entry was posted in A Mother's Heart, Celebrating Family, Parenting, Solace, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to I Couldn’t See

  1. Tink says:

    Gulp….Well said…gulp. I can….gulp….relate. 😦

  2. Teresa says:

    LOVED THIS! Totally understand the feelings and the words. All too well….

  3. Thank you, Teres. Feels good to be understood.

  4. Kathy says:

    As always Kerry your words make me tear up. I understand every emotion you are feeling, that is why I so enjoy you. Wonderful words….the best part was the slipping your hand into “your dad’s” still a unit. Love it.

  5. Kathy Perry says:

    The piece about your youngest turning 18 really touched my heart! It stated exactly what I’m feeling as JM’s senior year goes by so quickly! It’s what I felt three other time as the girls reached this point too! What a joy and a privilege it’s been to raise these wonderful gifts from God! A part of me wishes it could go on forever and another part rejoices that they are now not just my children but my very best friends! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

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