How do I define a mother's love? To what lengths would I go to in order to protect my child? What would I protect my child from? I ask this question as a mother sits in jail after telling her son to get rid of a car he used to run down and murder another human being. And while I don't condone her behavior, I understand it. I understand how you can so fiercely love your child that you don't want to see him or her suffer. But what is the cost? Her son has been charged with first degree murder which means he plan fully ran down and took the life of another young man whose mother is, I'm sure, beside herself with grief. I also find myself thinking of an episode of Desperate Housewives. When Bree Van De Kamp gets rid of a car her son drove while drunk and unintentionally hit an old lady and then fled the scene. And I know, it's a TV show, but now that show has turned into a reality in my community. So again, I wonder, to what lengths would I go to protect my child? And are we really protecting our children if we keep them from experiencing things? I mean, I think of my oldest daughter who has some difficulties and when I see her struggle with things it breaks my heart. When other kids don't want to play with her I want to swallow her up and protect her from that hurt, but alas, I can't. I can't protect her from the world. In fact, I think it's important for her to experience those things. They build character and teach her coping skills and other valuable lessons...like not everyone is gonna like you. You are not gonna like everybody either, but you have to get along. You have to learn to brush things off...have a thicker skin. Understand that if someone doesn't like you, it's probably because of who they are in comparison to who you are. And still it kills me inside to see her learn that. But I can't protect her from it. It's real life. That's the way it goes. And when she gets into trouble, she needs to take responsibility for it. Even if it hurts her. Even if I would trade places with her. Those things teach valuable lessons. And for some of us, myself included, we need to learn things through experiencing them ourselves. I love my children. I love them so fiercely and completely. But allowing them to take responsibility for their actions is the right thing to do...even if it hurts them. Even if I hurt for them.
"We do what we know how to do, and when we know better, we do better." -Maya Angelou