There comes a time in every mother’s life when she has to decide whether to push her child to fly or clip his wings to keep him close.
The question we face today is very difficult but opens up a whole series of reflections that become necessary for a parent at a certain point. This is a question that we mothers tacitly ask ourselves, only to draw our own silent conclusions. Because let’s face it, who would ever really want to be separated from their children?
There are mothers who are terrified of an empty nest, who cannot accept the distance of their children. Who prefer to see them lost and dissatisfied every day, rather than knowing they have been realized somewhere in the world. And who, on the other hand, finds the greatest personal pride in those choices.
But the truth is, parting with them is difficult for everyone. We hold them in our lap, we feel their movements even before we can see them with our eyes. We love them, unconditionally and with all of ourselves, even if we have no idea who of the two parents they will look like, what color their eyes will be and what their hair will be like. Yet, even if all these things are unknown to us, we give life to what will be the most extraordinary eternal love relationship of our existence. Because they are our children.
And it’s amazing how, even when we see them exceed our height, grow big, strong and sturdy, we can’t stop considering them as such. Because after all it is for them that we have turned our life upside down. It is to them that we have dedicated our free moments, that we have transmitted all our knowledge to the world. It is their hands that we have held tightly, it is their body that we have embraced. It is for them that we have strived to become better moms.
But being a mother means having the courage to forget your own needs to satisfy that of your children. And after all, that’s what we’ve been doing all our lives. First by saying goodbye to the hours of sleep, then to that extra date with the friend, and again putting aside that selfish desire to always keep them with us.
And here it is the existential drama of every mother, the one that forces us to choose whether to push our children to spread their wonderful wings, or to clip them to have them close. This is a question that confronts us with our greatest limitations and that requires us to have courage.
So with that tangle of conflicting feelings, ranging from shame, to fear, to pride in those children who have turned into great and extraordinary men, we must make our choice, even before they make theirs.
Because they will probably go away on their own, so curious to explore that world we told them about. Other times out of fear or laziness they will postpone that moment, but in both cases it will be up to us to put them in a position to be able to choose. After all, a mother’s task is also this, to set them free.
And then it is up to us to choose whether to prefer that our children always remain with us, giving up that flight that is rightfully theirs, or to let them free to go, to act, to fly. And to be everything they wish to be, even if it means dealing with geographical and physical distances.
Just having doubts about the answer, mind you, doesn’t make us bad mothers, but only frightened women who are afraid of losing the greatest love of their life. And when we are afraid, you know, we can commit nonsense. But then we remember that love, what we feel for them, can make us stronger than any fear and that basically seeing them happy is all we want.