Monday, May 11, 2009
Being a Mom
I've just caught up with most of your blogs, so I have read many Mother's Day posts this evening. It has brought to mind many things that I have loved about being a mom, too.
When I first have my babies, I love eating graham crackers and apple juice. It was my favorite, and traditional, in-the-hospital and during-the-night feedings.
I loved nursing in the wee hours of the morning. It seemed that throughout the rest of the day breast feeding was just another chore: something that had to be done while I sat for 1/2 hour and looked around at the things that needed to be done but that I couldn't find enough time for. In the middle of the night everyone else was asleep, so in those quiet wee morning hours nursing seemed to be the most important thing to be done. It was a great time for pondering and just being still.
Bathtime and bedtime was a wonderful time during the toddler years. I loved their fresh scent and the cuteness of the jammies and diaper and putting them to bed on their clean crib sheets. They weren't old enough to be kid yet, and they weren't babies anymore. Their new teeth smiles were adorable, as they beamed at me. These years were a wonderful time of feeling like I was the center of their world.
The preschool years were challenging. They resisted help during the "I can do it myself" stage, which was usually a frustration because I could do it so much quicker. Potty training usually happened in our house at 3 years old too, which is *not* my favorite task.
Early school age years are sweet. By now they knew how to dress themselves and at least get themselves a bowl of cereal without help. They have moved into independence well, but follow directions more obediently. They still love mommy and daddy most. The pictures and love notes they made were sent with abundance and much love.
Late elementary and middle school age is wonderful. Cub scouts, achievement days, & sports add some spice to their lives and give them self confidence. They love their friends and teachers, but still look to mom and dad to have the final say. They are starting to look more outside of themselves and empathize with others more.
High school youth. What a challenge! They are becoming adults and want freedom, but not necessarily the responsibility that goes with it. This stage is reminiscent of the preschool days all over again: asserting independence even if they aren't quite ready for it. They are trying hard to learn to be adults and look for answers from others than Mom & Dad, which can sometimes trouble Mom and Dad. It is a time when parents pray with earnestness, asking for the Lord to watch over their beloved young ones to be kept from harm as they are learning. It is wonderful to see them stepping up into the adult roles more, but scary to let them do it.
Adult children. I can't speak from too much experience here. My oldest is just at the beginning of this stage. It is scary as they try their wings to fly out of the nest. The transition is scary to watch them fall a little as they falter, but what an incredible feeling when they start learning to fly for themselves.
Motherhood is whirlwind of activities and emotions. To sum it up into one word, I would call it "Joy". Not "happiness" necessarily. Not really "fun". "Entertaining" only if you are a masochist or sadist. But it is truly joyful being a Mom; knowing that because of your personal sacrifice, this person has come into existence, has learned what they need to know to become their own person, and they will go on to make a difference in the world. Is it prideful to mention what a long lasting effect we have on our children, as parents? That because of what we sow, they will harvest? It is a daunting thought, and one that can't lightly be thought of. My prayer is that I will teach them what they need to know and that I will have been power for good.