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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Wet Noodle Posse Blog

by Pam Payne

I'm going to join the "I'm late" bandwagon. It's barely still the 15th here in my world, but I just got home a little while ago from taking the youngest to the airport. She's headed back to college, back to her new life away from her family. And yes, I cried. I always cry when I send one of my kids off to school. It's a mother thing.

I was thinking about Jenna's sister-in-law (see the Superheroine article on the Wet Noodle Posse website), and thinking about how much I admire, not only Jenna's sister-in-law, but her mother-in-law too. My youngest has that type of giving heart, wanting to help the less fortunate, but I'm guilty of trying to talk her out of it. Not because I don't think she'd be great at it, and fulfilled by it, but because I'm afraid. Afraid she'll get hurt, afraid she'll get sick, afraid she won't get to come back home.

My whole life I've been afraid. Not of things I can see, so much, as by the "what ifs." It's a side-effect of having an over-active imagination. It's part of what makes me a writer, that inability to turn my brain off and not think of all the things that could possibly happen. Yes, one of them might actually occur, but the chances are probably a lot smaller than my imagination leads me to believe.

So how do you turn off that imagination and let your kids go? Let them take risks with their safety, their emotional well-being? Do you just make yourself stop caring? I don't think so. There has to be a way to draw the line between coming up with endless crises for our fiction and letting them spill over into our personal relationships.

Until I figure it out, I stand in awe of Jenna's mother-in-law, that she's found a way to let her little bird fly and make such a difference in children's lives.



At 8:26 PM, Blogger bridget said...

"I have a wife, I have sons; all these hostages have I given to fate." (Coniunx est mihi, sunt nati; dedimus tot pignora fatis.) -- Lucan, AD 39-65

Having children does change our lives forever; and in the end, no matter what we do to protect them, fate will have its way. We could keep our children from traveling to Africa, only to see them get hit by a car close to home. I'm sure your heart knows in each different situation when you have to step in and be firm, and when you have to let your daughter go. Follow your heart.

with a hug!

At 9:10 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

I know what you mean about all those what-if situations. It's hard to turn them off sometimes, but we have to find a way for peace of mind.

At 11:40 PM, Blogger Jennie Lucas said...

Pam, I know what you mean. My mother-in-law (Hazel) leaves me in awe. To raise 8 kids who are her whole heart and soul, then trust them to go out into the wide world where she can't protect them -- wow. (Although I bet she'd say that she *does* protect them, by loving and praying for them.) I only hope I'm someday able to do the same.

But Pam, you are just as amazing to your own kids when you support them and love them and let them go, whether that's to school or Southeast Asia. You're a hero when you trust them enough to let them follow their dreams, even when it breaks your heart with fear.

You have to be strong enough to do it. In part because, like Bridget said, staying home doesn't guarantee a safe life. And in part because playing it safe doesn't guarantee a happy life. Not at all.

Bridget, I love your Latin quote. (Boy, are you classin' up the WNP joint or what, Mensa chick?) Here's one right back atcha, from an ever-so-slightly less arcane source (the movie Strictly Ballroom):

"A life lived in fear is a life half lived."

At 4:28 PM, Blogger Kiki, aka Esri said...

What a great post, Pam.


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