on being a mom

Raine peachy_web photo by Katariina Fagering

After a long winter break my daughter, Raine, returned to her school on Monday. She attends boarding school in St. Louis and since her departure, I have been weepy without her near. She graduates in the spring and our time together will only dwindle as she steps into the fullness of her life as an adult.

raine Wu photo by Katariina Fagering

The gravity of this monumental right of passage is hitting me with full force. I know I will always be her mother but my role in many ways will change drastically after she graduates. I will have finished my purpose as the mother of Raine as a child and move into being the mother of an adult. Although there are tangible changes when a child graduates, the real shift for me is on the subtle level.raine in snow by Katariina Fagering

Raine was my only child for 13 years when her little brother Finnegan arrived the day before her 13th birthday. We have been through so much together over these 17 years and we share a special bond. I feel a strong connection to her that extends beyond this lifetime.

raine as baby by Katariina Fagering

When she was a baby, it was clear to me, that my job as her parent, was too build her confidence, develop her independence, and most importantly to guide her to listen to her own internal compass. I had a vision of her leaving home as an empowered young woman who knew who she was and what she wanted to achieve in life. If that thing she initially chose changed a dozen times in her life, it wouldn’t matter to me; having a sense of direction of what to do next was important.

Raine and mom by Katariina Fagering

You can probably guess that this desire for her was created out of my own experience which looked very different. I had no direction and no real options, so when the Marine Corps recruiter called I didn’t hesitate to say yes! I know my parents did the best they knew how and I have no regrets about the choices I had, nor the decisions I made.

Raine however, is having a very different experience. She knows what college she is attending next year and her passion is musical theater, so she plans to study theater, dance and voice for four years and then head to New York City to test her talents.

Raine and Momma

As we move into the last months of her childhood, I am reflecting on our time together – both the low points and the high points. I made a lot of mistakes along the way but as is true for every mom, I did the best I knew how, or I would have done better. Life has dealt Raine some challenges to overcome but I know these challenges also have made her into the woman she has become.

rain Wu photo by Katariina Fagering

She is one of the funniest people I know; she is tenacious, kind and ever so talented. She sings, dances, plays the ukulele, ice skates, snow boards, rides horseback, kayaks, and brings joy to many. I couldn’t be prouder of all she has accomplished thus far and am so excited to witness her from my new position as the mother of the adult Raine.

raine as pocahontis by Katariina Fagering

raine in buns by Katariina FAgering

Raine in red by Katariina FAgering

11 thoughts on “on being a mom

  1. She is beautiful Kat, you did a good job. My 2 daughters are 13 years apart also, and my older daughter is 16 years older than my baby boy, who just turned 30 on the 10th. I was a single parent for 12 years with my oldest and it was not easy and you do the best you know how and hope you do not ruin them. It is different when the kids graduate and want to break out as an adult. The way I did it was go from mother to /motherfriend~~I know I will always be their mother, but I really cherish the friendships I have with each of them the most. I know several parents who could not transition into having adult children gracefully~~they were the parent and that is that!
    I am the person my kids call when stuck in traffic and they just chat away about their lives and how they feel~~it is so special. They call me for advice about things in their lives or just to tell me something funny they just did or saw. I packed my bags and went to my younger daughters apt after every break up she had with the men in her life~~just held her and listen to her cry. My sweet son is having his first baby in March and he calls me and talks about his excitement and his fears. I even have a very special relationships with my 22 year old granddaughter, she calls me her secret keeper.

    You did a great job Kat and you and her will be forever friends, How exciting for you to have her in your life, the fun you are going to have watching turn into a beautiful young woman.



    • Frankie!!! I’ve missed you this past month. You are such a light to so many. Your authentic, not-holding-anything-back, way of showing up is such an inspiration to me. Thank you for being a light for me as well. Please keep in touch.

      Big Luscious Frankie Love,

  2. Wow! this is so hard to believe….Where does time go? She is lovely!!!! I too, am transitioning into being a mother in law and Grandmother. You will love being the mother of an adult daughter. You can share passions and mistakes with an adult daughter that you may have never shared with friends or a spouse. Enjoy the new Chapter in the book of life! Lots of Love Kat….

  3. This is so darling! You are so lucky to have all those gorgeous photos and sweet memories. Raine is so lucky to have you as her Mom. Congratulations on a beautiful, self-confident, talented and powerful daughter.

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