One of my Facebook friends posted something poignant this morning.
She showed a photo of her son walking toward his plane on his way to basic training. He will be gone for 7 months and she wrote about how much she would miss him and that the tears were plentiful.
I got a bit misty-eyed reading her post and left a supportive comment.
My son just left yesterday to head back to college and the ache is real.
It was with great sadness that I read a comment one her friends left after mine.
It said, “Time to cut the apron strings.”
Those words struck me as unnecessary and cold.
Why in the world do we always feel like we have to give advice?
Why can’t we just let people feel what they feel, sit quietly beside them, offer words of encouragement, or just say, “I’m sorry.” and leave it at that?
Yes, as moms, our goal is to work ourselves out of a job. We raise our kids to be self-sufficient and independent, fully knowing that there will come a day when they leave the nest to begin to live their own story. That is good and it is right.
However…the pain of them leaving is still very real. There may be regret over things done or things left undone. There may be sadness over how fast the time went and a longing for the days when they were young and you were their whole world. The quiet in the home may seem deafening at times. There may be concern about some of the choices the kids will make, driving us to our knees in fervent prayer. There may be that wish for the time to say just one more thing, give one more piece of advice, to experience one more hug.
There is nothing wrong with that!
It is not a place we want to stay indefinitely, of course, but for crying out loud let a mama be honest about the fact that she is going to miss her boy!
Let’s not be so quick to put in our two cents the next time someone shares their feelings with us. If your advice is wanted, it will be requested.
In the meantime, just give them the dignity of letting them feel what they feel and extend the beauty of grace in the midst of their struggle.
Then your corner of the world will be a kinder place.
3 responses to “Think Before You Speak”
I cringed a little at that comment, too. But, I don’t know their relationship. Perhaps it’s a private joke between them or something. (We can hope.)
I am working on this talent, too (not giving unwarranted advice). I don’t know about others, but my advice-giving stems from wanting to help–to stop their pain. But I’ve learned that others don’t think like I do and quite often my words are taken totally different than how I’d meant them. So, yeah. Job’s friends had it right when they sat with him in silence and messed up when they opened their mouths. We should learn from them and keep silent.
Thanks for the reminder, Susan. I hope you’re hanging in there as you miss your son. Thinking of you!
I totally agree Susan. Sometimes it IS best to just listen,support and not give possibly hurtful “advice”.