I remember when I was younger, it was my consistent habit that right before bedtime I wanted to unload all my thoughts and words onto my mom. She would come up to say goodnight and I would ramble on forever, telling her of the happenings of my day, of things I was worried about, boys I had crushes on, drama with friends, and all the other random thoughts that filled up my young growing mind.
It seemed somehow, even if she couldn’t fix things or even if she didn’t say too much back (mostly because I wouldn’t stop talking), it made it better. I felt relief from someone caring enough to hear, someone carrying my worries alongside me and from just being free to “get it all out there.” Sometimes it would even be days later and she would come up with some small tidbit as to how to help or handle a situation I had mentioned days earlier.
It made her present in my life’s journey.
Now, I endure the same unload from my own children. Even with my oldest only being 9 years old, I still experience it in each of them. As mothers we can calm fears, be attentive and offer advice, but mostly they just need us to listen for their relief and to be heard and loved. Even if we don’t fix it, someone else has taken on “their stuff” as important or unimportant as it is.
And because of that, they sleep more soundly.
As a teenager I was taught a beautiful daily devotion that the consecrated women, who I spent so much time with, lived in their daily nighttime routine. After their formal prayers, they head down to their beautiful grotto of our Blessed Mother, they stand before her and just like children do before their own mothers, they informally unload.
They tell her everything. They let her listen.
They entrust every last ounce to her. Then they head straight to bed. It’s such a raw, human devotion to discover. I learned it and love it and still practice it often.
Mary is our Mother in a very real way; the same way our human mothers can be, except she’s perfect. May we also discover Mary as our spiritual mother in this way, relying on her to listen and take care of everything, especially at the end of a very long day.