What a gift. Often a gift of suffering and dying to self and even just plain monotony. But, other times, the joy sneaks up on me. It almost takes my breath away as I realize what I have in these precious children. These precious children.
It's amazing to me now to look back on childhood with the eyes of a mother. To see, just a bit, what my own mother must have been thinking and feeling. I think back to times that she was impatient, her voice raised, and I now wonder what I had done? How tired did she feel in those moments? How many times had she asked me to do the same thing over and over and over? And how awful was my attitude as I disobeyed? I didn't understand what she was doing--making the decision to be at home with me. I had no clue that there was more to her than being my mom, and that she was laying down so much of that to be my mom. I had no clue.
Ada tells me a lot lately, after I ask her to pick up her crayons or put away her dress up clothes, she whines, "you ask me do everything." And I am sure in her mind, I do ask her to do everything. I don't think she even sees the things that I am doing, because I didn't see. It never crossed my mind that mom wasn't jumping up and down thrilled to cook yet another dinner ;), so when she asked me to fold a pile of clothes that might interfere with the book I was reading or television show I was watching, I was clearly offended. It makes me cringe to think about it.
And I have a feeling, that one day I will be a grandmother, and I will look back and think, "oh, this is what it was like for my mom."
It is amazing to me the other parts of the story that rise to the surface as you grow up and look back. The puzzle pieces that begin to fit together. Of course my mom "lost her patience." I am doing good on any given day to find mine in the first place.
Scott and I just had an anniversary--our 6th, and it sort of just came and went, as these types of things tend to do these days. I am okay with that, though, as we are saving for the family beach trip, which will cover anniversaries and birthdays all rolled into one. But, of course, anniversaries do make us reflect, don't they, and I said to Scott, in reflection, "When we were engaged, and I was thinking about marriage, I had no idea how exhausted I would be all of the time." And it's easy to fall into a pity party, so quickly fall into a pity party. And then I look at what we get to do. These children that we have been entrusted with to raise and disciple and teach and love. And John comes up to me, and he says, "mommy, mommy, mommy, hug?!!!" and I hug him, and he grins and says, "again?!!" And Ada asks yet another impossible question about God and who he is, like, "how big is he? And what will Heaven be like?" and I welcome the exhaustion that comes with something as rich as this. That I get to be on the front row as God grows these children.
Oh, Lord, have mercy on me. Give me grace and wisdom, and please, let me hear your voice. Show me how to do this impossible thing. And, please, take my eyes off of myself so that I don't miss this gift. This treasure with which you have entrusted me. Give me grace upon grace upon grace, Lord.
Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there. Keep on keeping on, my friends.
And I will end with a picture I took yesterday--of Ada and my grandmother--my dad's mom. My only living grandparent. Such a reminder that this mothering is not just about this generation but generations to come. There is much at stake, right? Again, keep on keeping on.