What Are Mom-Prints?

Feb 20, 2022 | Adult Children, Q&A | 0 comments

In talking about the role of mothers, Mother Teresa, a keen observer of humankind, underscored the realities of intergenerational divergence. Notice, she concluded with a startling prediction:

“You will teach them to fly, but they will not fly your flight.
You will teach them to dream, but they will not dream your dream.
You will teach them to live, but they will not live your life.
Nevertheless, in every flight, in every life, in every dream,
the print of the way you taught them will remain.”

— Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta, source unknown, emphasis mine.

When considering the influence mothers exert over their children, it is heartening to realize your love can permanently imprint your offspring’s life, even if your son’s or daughter’s current attitudes and choices may seem to fly in the face of your teaching and rearing.

When I was contemplating what cover design to use for my book, Life’s Third Tri, a painting sitting on an easel on the corner of my desk caught my eye. My daughter Deborah painted that small canvas in 2004, wrapped it up, and gave it to me for Christmas that year. It is my all-time favorite gift from her.

Although Deborah is an amateur painter, she captured with her artistic flair the essence of my heart as a mother in her “Mom-prints” painting. I longed for my love to be imprinted on each of my kids’ lives as they were growing up. Then I looked forward to my love being expressed through their hands as they in turn loved their children, and then my great-grandchildren, generation after generation, hand after hand.

It didn’t hurt that Deborah used beautiful shades of blue in her painting. She knew blue was always my favorite color. Her painting has constantly been on display in my house since 2004.

Let yourself gaze at Deborah’s artwork and rejoice over the reality that your love can be the defining legacy you bequeath to your sons and daughters. Love is the most powerful force in the world. Now that your kids are grown and gone, learning how to express your love so that your adult children recognize its presence has become the subject matter of many pages in my book. You can pass on no greater gift than love!

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