M.I.A. (Mother In Agony)

“Earnest Prayer” by Artist C. Michael Dudash

M.I.A. (Mother In Agony)
My daughter is experiencing “growing pains”.
I , her mother, am as well.
I must confess.
 I hate it.
I long for the days when, 
while standing at the sink washing dishes,
two little arms clutched my leg and
two Junior Mint eyes,
 stared up at me, full of adoration.
As opposed to,
eyes rolling.
Where has the time gone?
She is eleven. She may as well be eleven hundred.
She is as foreign to me as a far-away country-
she may as well be
 geographically.
It feels that way.
Distant.
It’s as if someone has kidnapped my daughter and left
in her place, a rebellious teenager.
Stop!
She is not a teenager.
Was I like this at eleven?
I squint, as I try to force an age related memory out of my aging, uncool mind.
It seems such an awkward age.
I remember that feeling.
Awkward.
All too soon she is rushing away from me and into-
the danger years.
I remember those.
“This too shall pass” does not suffice.
Well meaning advice, from the
judge and jury crew
is not helpful.
Grace is needed.
Grace received.
Grace remembered.
Grace remaining for the days ahead.
I need more.
I remember, her nursing at my breast.
Precious, needy, hungry.
Contentedly,
peeking up at me
with one eye.
Always watching.
Now, a closed door.
Unseen.
I hate it.
I remember stroller walks on brisk days,
and seeing two eyes
peering through a snugly afghan,
draped over the canopy top.
Her eyes always watching me.
My eyes always watching her.
Connected.
Today our conversation turned to confrontation,
She disappeared again,
to the haven of her room.
A million miles away.
Door closed.
Shut out.
Yeah, I’m having growing pains.
Some days I’m not sure I’ll make it.
I ponder where I have gone wrong already,
and how I’ll redeem the remaining time.
Some days I fear the worst is yet to come.
Then I think back to hose little eyes
and their history of watching me.
 I ask for more grace for the day,
and for the love I don’t possess,
apart from the One who is Himself
Love and whose pool is never dry.
It is on this One –
utterly dependent,
I rely.

©Dawn Paoletta 2011

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6

First beach visit Newport, RI – March 2001
My little Junior Mint eyed girl
(SOrry @ the grainy look – it is one of my faves)

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