"That's the kind of thing about getting your heart stomped on - it never get's any easier." As I tried to console my heart-broken daughter, I wanted so badly to say, "It gets better. It won't hurt so much next time." But in the moment, the lie wouldn't come - even a white lie to heal this girl who has my heart. Instead I told her, "It never gets easier, but we never love in vain. We make a difference in their world, or they make a difference in ours, or in some rare, beautiful moments, we can do that for each other at the same time."
I always knew being a mom would be hard, but I didn't understand what made it so hard. It turns out it isn't having less time, spreading the money in thinner slices, or even the daily stress of taking care of them. Love is what makes it hard.
The first time they had their shots, I knew I was in big trouble. Just hearing them cry brought me to tears. Now I look back and smile when I think of Mandy at a few months old, crying every time she heard a baby cry on TV and giving me a look like, "Mom, fix it." Back then I looked forward to becoming the "all-knowing" adult in their lives and being able to fix everything like the TV moms I admired. I am still waiting.
There are so many things I wish I could fix for them. Band-aids don't seem to have the magic they used to have, and my mom bag of tricks is getting low. I really want a Mary Poppins' bag that has everything I need to save the day. There must be something in there for helping my son stop wishing he wasn't alive anymore. Or maybe something to block night terrors and the ghosts that torment him when he is alone? Perhaps a song to replace the voices screaming in his head? If I ask really nicely, maybe I could borrow her secrets for explaining love and broken hearts. I bet she has a way to help my daughter accept herself in a world that hates who she is. She could teach her the lessons I failed to teach - dealing with anger, trusting blindly, and loving like you have never been hurt before. I need a bag like that for a day or two...or three...or four...
So, it never gets any easier, does it? It doesn't matter if it is us or the people we love that are hurting; it still sucks. But we never love in vain, either. Loving them makes my life worthwhile.