That's what we mothers are when our kids are small - balm for every scrape, bump, and bruise. But then the kids grow up and our former balminess loses its effectiveness, even going so far as to become an active irritant. What's a mother to do?
I wish I knew. I hate seeing my kids struggle, but they don't want to sit on my lap anymore and have their backs rubbed. My attempts to advise come off as evidence of a deep and irreversible character flaw on my part - and, let's face it, maybe that's what it is. I can make all kinds of excuses for myself but, in fact, don't my efforts represent an attempt to exert some control over their futures?
This is the essence of parenting - just when you think you've cleared the rapids, you round a bend and find more white water.