Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Thursday, October 1, 2015

When Your Daughter Becomes a Mother

Our only daughter is preparing to present us with her first child, our fourth grandson. He could even arrive on our 38th wedding anniversary on October 1, although we all like to have our own day so I won’t blame him a bit if he waits. 

They live in Calgary. Though I am looking forward to flying out and helping after the baby comes, I haven’t been able to watch Mindy change shape or walk the duck-waddle to which most pregnant women inevitably resort. I’ve missed shopping for maternity clothes and the baby shower. I didn’t get to see the nursery being prepared. 

All of this has made me nostalgic and a bit melancholy. There’s something about your children becoming parents that’s both exciting and sobering. You fear for them as you consider the multitude of things that need to go right (and usually do, but still.) You understand the deep joy and love this child will bring to their home, but also the hard-to-define ache that comes with it. You love them so much, it hurts. You try so hard but often fall short. You’re bringing a brand new helpless little person into a broken world, a world that could easily chew them up and spit them out.

When you consider the absolute vulnerability and helplessness of a newborn, isn’t it a miracle that any of us survive?  We are completely at the mercy of our caretakers. And as caretakers, not a one of us will ever be everything a child needs, no matter how great our parenting.

I’m confident my daughter and son-in-law will be terrific parents. They already make a great team and have plenty of love, compassion, and common sense. Most of all, they acknowledge their own need for strength and direction from God for the journey.

When Mindy graduated from high school and left for a year in Europe, I remember feeling panicky . “Wait!” I wanted to say. “You can’t go yet, I haven’t done enough, taught you enough, loved you enough!”
Those thoughts led to a piece of poetry I wrote for her and which somehow seems appropriate to share now, as we celebrate handing off the parenting baton to another generation.

Have I Loved You Enough?

Have I loved you enough? I wonder
Photo Credit: Ryan Monson
as I push you out into the cold, cruel world
screaming and wet

For nine months I have carried you inside me...
but have I loved you enough?

Have I loved you enough? I wonder
through the dark nights of rocking, feeding, changing
the busy days of playing, teaching, training

I push you out the door to school,
entrusting you to the care of others
working hard to pay your way...
but have I loved you enough?

Have I loved you enough? I wonder
as you struggle for your freedoms
to do your own things, have your own friends
choose your clothes, drive a car
do weird things with your hair
to love a boy, to follow your heart

I push you to choose what you know to be right...
but have I loved you enough?

Have I loved you enough? I wonder
as I push you out into the cold, cruel world
Longing to hold you back
close to my heart, close to myself...
but have I loved you enough?

The answer, of course, is
No, I have not.
For I cannot.
I am an imperfect human
And you were designed by your Creator
to be loved perfectly

As only He can,
as only He does,
as only He will...


  1. Beautiful poem, Terrie. I can feel and hear your mother's love. But, no, you haven't loved her enough. Yet. You have much more love in you to share. Love doesn't decrease in God's economy; it grows. I can tell you've made a wise and huge investment in your whole family so far. Enjoy every moment you can spend with your daughter and her newborn son.