Ellen Mongan shares timeless advice to mothers whose children are experiencing a new beginning.
I would always say, with a perky smile on my face, "Goodbye!" It was the script I chose whether I was saying goodbye to my child on the first day of kindergarten, elementary, middle school, high school, or college. My words were brief. Thankfully, none of my seven children cried nor looked back.
My smile said to my kindergartener, "I will miss you, but your mommy will return. She will never forget you." The smile silently said to my elementary-school child, "You're fine!" They were more excited about seeing their friends than getting a hug as they ran out the door. The high-schoolers jumped out of the car with their feet racing to school. I smiled, "You've got this one!" They knew they did. As they left for college, I would add to my goodbye, "Go forth, bear fruit, be righteous, be legal, and be pure!" Automatically that same smile would appear. I guess you could say I gave them wings.
Looking back on my life, I realize that one of the best gifts you can give your child is wings. If you want to pass the gift of wings on to your child, you must have a pair yourself. We all have wings waiting inside our souls for us to try out. They are like the unopened present on Christmas morning. Life is an adventure when you unwrap your gift of wings. Think of what a different world this would be if we all learned to fly with the wings of faith. "Nothing is impossible with God." The wings of faith that God placed in my soul set me in flight to do many things I never knew I could do. With the gift of wings, the sky is the limit! You can fly if you try!
Moms, not only do we need to have wings, but we need to pass them down to our children. We must teach our children how to fly. The more freedom we have in Christ, the easier it is to teach your children how to live freely in Him. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made, each for a purpose. Give your child wings to fly high enough to reach their dreams but low enough to land safely at home. Wings that are not so wide that you cannot put your arms around them. Wings that soar them on a flight of becoming the best they can be. Teach them never to give up. Giving them wings is one of the best gifts you can give.
Remember when you walked your firstborn child into their first day of school? With a tear in your eye, you wanted to press the rewind button and begin your motherhood journey again. You decided you didn’t want to miss a thing, not a smile, not a new word, nor a question. This time you want to see their life with eyes of compassion, ears that really hear between the lines, and with a heart of love.
You want to change the mistakes you made and replace them with the perfect motherhood skills and responses you have learned. But reality quickly reminds you that life has no rewind button. You can never go back. Maturity encourages you to go forward. The wisdom of the ages quickens to you that it is your mistakes that have formed you into who you are. It is the mistakes that have formed your child into who they are. You quickly lift a prayer to your Heavenly Father pleading, “God, I may not have done the journey perfectly, but I did it with all my heart!”
Motherhood is a lifetime journey that will change you forever. I am blessed that God chose motherhood as my way of sanctification. The world may never understand the graces and blessings you will experience. If He asks you to embrace this call, He promises to give you the grace for the journey. He will put a song on your lips, fill your heart with joy, and put His life in your soul. It will be an adventure of a lifetime and the journey never ends until you come face to face with Jesus. What will you say? “Thank you!” of course. So do not fret about saying goodbye, for it is time for your child to fly. Your wings expand with pride, as you bid them farewell.
On the podcast, Go Tell the World, I join Catholic Mom contributor Anne DeSantis and Bill Snyder to discuss returning to school. We share godly wisdom, traditions, and personal experiences from their hearts. In addition, Anne and Bill introduce their book Hearts Burning Within Us: Answers to Burning Questions from Catholic College Students. This book is a must-read for moms, dads, and college students embarking on the college journey. Buy the book and see what our young adults are thinking.
Copyright 2023 Ellen Mongan
About the Author
Ellen Mongan hosts three podcasts: Wow Mom, Deacon & Dear, and Go Tell the World, found on YouTube or EllenMongan.com. Her books, “Wow Mom: A Walk with God,” “4 For the Mountaintop,” and “Who Will Wear the Crown” found on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. Married 50 years to Deacon Patrick Mongan, M.D. Mother to 8, and Nana to 15.