Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

This is a photo of my mom, on her very first day of motherhood in 1976. I love the look on her face of joy, love, admiration, and wonder, as my brother nonchalantly rests, unaware of the pure miracle that he is.
And that, my friends, is motherhood. Your mind is racing, contemplating the future, the next injury, the next milestone, and the next meal, while your little ones walk about the earth without a care in the world. Because they don't need to. You do all the caring and preventing, and teaching, and serving so that they are free to learn, to love, and to be.
And that's how you know you've done it right.

My mom didn't have it easy. There were 5 of us in 10 years. That means that there 3 of us in diapers at once. There were meals prepared while babies nursed and (had there been carseats back then), she could never have gone to the store, to the bank, to the playground, or to a friend's house. She didn't get weekly manicures, didn't have nannies or babysitters, and didn't have a DVD player in the car. There were no cell phones to call for help had she been stranded with children somewhere, and no GPS to guide her to the closest hospital.
She mothered us, in retrospect, in primative times.
And she did it with love.
You never really appreciate your parents until you become a parent yourself. It's a phrase you hear a million times growing up, but you never believe it until it happens.
You have children, and you're scared because there's no instruction booklet. No dummies guide to being a good mom. They send you home from the hospital with a new creature, so helpless, so fragile, and you're on your own.
But as you grow, you come to realize that you do know what to do. It's what your parents did for you, and it comes naturally. Mothers teach you that Desitin is the best diaper rash ointment, breastfeeding does hurt like hell for a couple weeks, babies fall off the couch and survive, and mothers are not perfect.
So I know that I'm a good mom - a great mom. I try my hardest to raise my children in faith, love and happiness, and I remember that being a mom isn't trying to be perfect, because you'll always be perfect in the eyes of your biggest fans - your children.
So on this Mother's Day, I want to say Thank you to my own mom, who taught me that mothering isn't easy, but you can't fail. That love can withstand broken toys, broken bones and broken hearts; and that in the end, my children will know how to raise their children in the glow of absolute devotion, just as I know.
Happy Mother's Day, Mommy!
I love you.

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