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)

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joan
    Oct 22, 2011 @ 16:46:34

    Hi DawnFirst time visitor.Saw your post in the Leadher blogger pool.:) I certainly empathize with you as my ministry is to girls and young women AND their parents. Part of what I do is here (photography-with-purpose.com). I will be praying for you and your daughter's relationship. I like your blog and the topics you have here are very insightful. 🙂 Blessings to you!

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  2. C. Beth
    Oct 22, 2011 @ 17:04:33

    I'm nervous about when my daughter is this age. Praying for you both at this challenging time! You're setting a great example and you are there for her…good job, Mama. 🙂

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  3. Ron aka TheOldGeezer
    Oct 22, 2011 @ 19:14:00

    We have 3 girls and 1 boy. All moved out, married and with children of their own. All our kids had growing pains but the ones who suffered the most pain was my wife. I think being a mother is the toughest job in the world. You and God can do it! :-)Have a Wonderful Week 🙂*The Old Geezer Blog

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  4. Pam
    Oct 22, 2011 @ 20:25:41

    You have NO IDEA how relevant that is to me right now…today. I cannot share here what's going on, the pain is so huge, fresh and deep, but this so plainly and clearly describes how I'm feeling. As I was running a quick errand today, I thought, 'It was so much easier when she (my 15 year old daughter)was little.' I thought I had problems then. I'm grateful for your post, Dawn. God knew I needed to read this today. Thank you.Blessings, friend,Pam

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  5. quietspirit
    Oct 22, 2011 @ 22:23:11

    Dawn: I remember being frustrated when my son went through this stage. I explained to a friend who had two boys just a bit older. I said,”Somedays, he acts 12 (the age he was. Somedays he acts 22; some days he acts 2.” Her response was. “Yes.” What she was trying to tell me was that all boys go through that stage. I believe it also can be said that all children( and their mothers) go through the growing pain stage. Pray about this. You will get through it.

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  6. Erin Wallace
    Oct 22, 2011 @ 23:56:38

    We are in the midst of this with our son and our daughter just turned 18 and is still growing out of it. It is really difficult when they turn into these creatues that you don't know. But you have it right. Just have faith and keep praying. That's all you can do, and while it seems empty right now, He will get you through.

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  7. Recovering Church Lady
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 00:24:12

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. Recovering Church Lady
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 00:26:36

    Beautiful post! I feel your pain, it hurts so much to feel betrayed by the sweet little baby that used to think you were amazing! Deep down underneath all the irritating eye rolling she still thinks that I'm sure.

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  9. Mel @ Trailing After God
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 01:35:29

    That is exactly how I have felt with my oldest who is 15. It's amazing how much and how quickly they change and we're never ready for it. I pray that my children grow out of it and we grow back together as time moves forward. I was (um am) an eye roller. I remember how awful I behaved towards my mom and now she's one of my best friends. That helps me to think about that on those rough days.

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  10. "Cottage By The Sea"
    Dec 20, 2011 @ 17:06:30

    I feel your pain. I have 5 children the youngest is now 17. I have seen the eye rolls, heard the slam of the bedroom door, and the heavy sighs of disgust at my “lameness”. The most important thing to remember, (I remind myself daily still and even after having experiencing it 5 times), this too shall pass. It's a hard time for them as well; we all went through it. I think it must be harder than ever to be a teen or a tween these days. At the other end, hopefully we are all better people for it. Not only will you need grace to get through it, but even more importantly, you will grow in grace for having done so. I'll send up a prayer for ya! Blessings, Tia

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