Being a parent, a mom, is hard. My son recently got married and I felt like part of it didn’t go so well. He got mad at me, I got mad at him…and overall I feel to some degree like I have “lost” him. We have talked since and made amends…and I realize he wasn’t really mad at me alone but was letting off steam about the whole family (and wedding drama) and I just happened to be the one closest by when he decided to vent. I know he probably felt like he couldn’t offend others in the family because he’s afraid of them, or what they would think of him. I was the “easy target” or that “safe place” to land with his feelings. Although it was hurtful, he felt like he could be honest with me. It didn’t feel good at all at the time and at times still doesn’t feel fair the way I’m treated. But in retrospect, I guess it’s the place where God wants me to be. Being a parent and bearing the cross is very hard sometimes – especially when we can see our children heading for dangerous places and want to prevent them hitting hard ground and realize we can’t…or ask ourselves where we went wrong that they ended up this way…and just want to go back to that comfortable place where we were once in our relationship and can’t find our way back there…and see that they are still testing their wings and don’t want to come back…yet. But we have to keep the nest open, our hearts open because just maybe they will want to or need to one day. Many women in the Bible and saints along the way have felt this pain and I think we can look to them for hope. This must be how Saint Monica felt when her son Augustine sinned and lived like a pagan until he was 33; the way Eve felt when her son Cain killed his brother (her other son!) Abel; or how Mary felt when Jesus, at the age of twelve, stayed behind in the temple to teach without bothering to tell his parents where he was, and they frantically searched for him. “When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions…When his parents saw him, they were astonished. ‘Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.’ ‘Why were you searching for me?’ he asked. ‘Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?’ But they did not understand what he was saying to them.” (Luke 2:41-52) Even Mary and Joseph were upset, probably angry, and didn’t understand! But Augustine did become a saint and one of the greatest leaders in Christianity; Eve had another son, Seth, who was to eventually be an ancestor in the royal bloodline of Jesus; and Mary, of course, although she had to bear many hardships and suffering, was the mother of our Lord. Let us pray for our children and for ourselves as parents that we may carry our crosses and be safe places for them to land.