Mother's Day 2011

May 08, 2011

Last year I wrote about being a mother...  That post still sums up what each of my girls has taught me about mothering.  I'm sort of a slow learner in this area, but I'm catching on.  It's hard to believe this is my 13th Mother's Day.  I feel like I fail (at least with the teen and tween) more than I succeed.  Motherhood is not for wimps, that's for sure.  Thankfully, I have a good example in my own mother and I am blessed to have friends who are great mothers. 

This is my favorite picture of my mom and I.

I'm sure I've posted this before, but I just come back to it every Mother's Day.  I wish I remembered this moment!  My mom is gentle, patient, and encouraging.  She's always had a meek and quiet spirit (for the most part -- there have been exceptions!).  Obviously, this clashed with my never-meek, never-quiet spirit!  I really wish I'd been nicer to her growing up.

One day, my girls (especially one nameless girl) will probably wish they'd been nicer to me during these growing up years.  And, I already wish I was nicer sometimes.  I don't want my girls to look back at their childhood and remember a mean, crazy mother which is exactly how I feel some days.  I hope they'll be able to look past my faults and the mistakes I've made and see my heart. 

I've heard it said that "motherhood is liking walking around with your heart outside your body." That's it!  My heart hurts when theirs hurt; my heart rejoices when theirs do.  I think sometimes we moms feel those emotions exponentially more than our kids do.  One time, when Molly was five years old, we were doing the whole bedtime routine and she'd finished her bath and we were taking care of bathroom business.  Most of you know, but having spina bifida often means that catheterization is required to empty the bladder.  We'd finished that and she was sitting up on the counter so I could brush her teeth.  She just looked at me with big, big tears in her eyes and said, "Why do I have to have spina bifida?"  This was the first time she'd asked.  I thought I had my pat answer ready (and I did), but I was not prepared for the overwhelming urge to bawl my eyes out right there while I gave her that answer.  "I just don't know, baby.  For whatever reason, this is how God made you and, you know what, that's OK.  You're really very lucky because you can walk and run all on your own."  Then I hugged her and big my lip and blinked back my own salty tears.  We've had that conversation countless times since that night, and every time it's hard.  My heart hurt then and it hurts now as intermediate school has been sort of difficult for her.  I'm praying for sweet friends to come into her life who will love her and like her -- a lot.  And this is what we do as mothers...we take their hurt and we make it our own -- "bearing one another's burdens."

And, we share their joy.  We celebrate the big things and we celebrate the little things.  I remember the first year that Parker made cheer --  I had no idea I cared so much about whether or not she made the squad.  I did.  I walked on air for a day or two after that!  I share Lilah's little joys every day.  Four years old is one of the most enjoyable ages!  We celebrate pouring her own drink and writing her name and helping clean her room.  We celebrate Molly, too -- meeting her reading goal (she does not have a natural love for reading -- breaks my heart!) and making a good grade on a math assignment. 

My heart is full this Mother's Day.  These children have blessed me like nothing else.  My prayer is that they will "rise up and call me blessed" one day. 

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