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Where is my heart? It was just here

Artist Erika Kuhn
Almost 2 decades ago, a dear friend of mine had a baby girl. It had been a rough pregnancy and I tried to make her bedrest at least interesting, with frequent light-hearted mail.

And then: baby girl! That baby became my god-daughter. I wrote her mom a letter about motherhood that, said at one point, "now you'll know what it's like to have your heart walking around outside your body."

I've always thought that line was one of the best descriptions of motherhood (No, I didn't write it.) Your kids, even when they are all grown-up, will always always be at the core of your very being. Even now, as adults, your heart hurts when they do. You wish you could navigate young adulthood for them. You ache when you don't hear from them.

One of my babies, my oldest daughter, decided (with her hubby) to move 800 miles away. It's been so great for both of them, but especially for her: she's matured so much. They are exploring and having fun. I'm so happy for them and for their marriage.

I was leaving work one day a week or so ago. Sitting at a red light, I saw a tall, leggy brunette with her hair piled on top of her head. She strode across the street, messenger bag hanging off her shoulder. My heart skipped a beat: "My baby!" But it wasn't her. And my heart hurt a little.

She called me last night, on her long drive home from work. "I'm bored," she said. Her cell phone kept cutting out, so we had a weird conversation that was chopped into bits and pieces but we laughed and chatted anyway. And my heart was a bit happier.

Articles like this one have young adults finding flaws in their parents in order to make sense of their own lives. (Trust me, my kids don't have to look very far to find my flaws. I've always lived my life "out loud," no holds-barred, right or wrong.) My relationship with my daughter is like oil and vinegar: it can be tasty and fine, or bitter and flat. Because we're human.

I wonder if God looks at this way. We are so far from home, so far away from our Heavenly Parent - He must miss us. He must hurt when we do. He must desire so deeply to hug us and never let go. At least I hope it's that way.

But my heart still skips a beat when I see her. I'm thrilled when she laughs, and love her little social media messages. And I literally ache - I miss her so much. Mi cara, mon coeur ... my heart, 1000 miles away. That's motherhood.

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