Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day

You know Hannah, my wonder cousin?  She posted this on facebook:
When you are exasperated by interruptions, try to remember that their very frequency may indicate the value of your life.  Only people who are full of help and strength are burdened by other persons' needs.  The interruptions which we chafe at are the credentials of our indispensability.  The greatest condemnation that anybody could incur--and it is is a danger to guard against--is to be so independent, so unhelpful, that nobody ever interrupts us, and we are left comfortably alone.

Is there a mother that can't take comfort in that statement?

Also, here's this:

I was born a mother.  My calling is not to change diapers or spoon-feed tiny mouths.  My calling is to nurture eternity.  I scrub sinks and scour floors because my home is holy, upon the alter of this temple I have laid all my own ambitions.  I do not stay home to support my husband.  He goes to work to fund our family.

-Reachel Bagley,  found here
 I submitted an essay to a contest.  The topic was Motherhood Is.  This is where I wish I could tell you that I won, but I did not.  It's a losing essay, but it is my losing essay:

Motherhood is…

Motherhood is feeling differently about the world from the moment you know you are pregnant. 

Motherhood is undisguised vulnerability after giving birth and wonder that you could love someone that much.  Motherhood is asking someone not to smoke around your baby (something you would never have done before) and sudden tears when you hear about something terrible happening to someone else’s baby…or some other baby’s mother. It is exhausting nights and arms aching from endlessly bouncing a crying baby.  It is tying chunky shoes on chunky feet and clapping in delight at new feats. 

Motherhood is insisting on vaccinations and dentist visits and chores and combing their hair even when it makes children unhappy.  It is gritting your teeth and willing yourself to be patient while they are learning to read and can’t pronounce a word you just told them how to pronounce a sentence earlier.  Motherhood is careful watching at a playground.  Are they safe?  Are they happy?  Did that fall hurt?

Motherhood is the gradual realization that they aren’t perfect, even though you were so certain they would be.  It is the humbling reminders that you are not at all perfect.  You lose patience, you aren’t consistent enough, and sometimes you forget to order the Happy Meal cheeseburger with no pickles.  It is saying the wrong thing, overreacting, and tuning out during repeated descriptions of the Star Wars plot.

But, motherhood is also being there every day.  It is remembering their favorite color (of the moment) and knowing how to make sandwiches they like. 

It is soothing them when they throw up all over you, bandaging knees and kissing fevered foreheads.  It is anxious wide-awake nights while they sleep and you worry.  It is self-doubt and wondering.  Is that consequence appropriate?  What more can I do?  Are they happy?  Will they turn out all right? 

Motherhood is a heartbreaking loosening when they don’t look for you first thing in the morning, they no longer hold your hand willingly, or fit on your lap.  It is the day you find yourself looking up into their eyes and it takes your breath away.  It is watching them fail and watching them succeed, watching them work hard—or not—and finding you no longer have much say.  It is wondering how on earth you are ever going to survive and then remembering.  They were God’s children before they were yours.  Motherhood is a partnership with Him.  It is knowing that no matter how difficult the way, there is help to be had.  Motherhood is love.

Happy Mother's Day (especially to my beloved mother).   Home is where your mom is.  Part of my heart now resides on the banks of the Mississippi River.


Marianne said...

What a lovely post!

Olivia Cobian said...

You should have one. This is a real tear-jerker. Happy Mother's Day!

Olivia Cobian said...

I mean you should have WON! You should also have one--a good one, that is! Obviously I shouldn't have won anything!

Janet said...

I love your essay! Especially the part about looking up and it taking your breath away--I thought this exact thing just the other day when I took a photo of our boys before opening night of the musical. I literally gasped as my eye looked through the view finder of my camera . . . WHAT happened to my little boys!?! A blink of an eye I tell you. :(


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