Some Things I've Learned
I am sitting in my favorite rocking chair, it squeaks a little when you rock it. This old chair has served me well. We have spent many midnight hours together, rocking little ones. Middle of the night nursing hours spent gazing in awe at the little person in my arms. This chair has also supported me, as I felt the motion of the rocking, trying to ease the raw pain I felt as my hungry baby ferociously latched on to my very sore breasts. With clenching teeth, I learned to lay down my life for the life of my child. Some nights, this chair rocked and soothed me as I silently cried, sobbing big drops falling on the bundle in my arms, tired, exhausted beyond anything I ever imagined, silently crying, and learning yet even more intimately, how to lay down my life for another. Those moments, in the dark, rocking my suckling babes, I learned love.
Washing the dishes, changing diapers, scrubbing the floor, wiping fingerprints and permanent marker and melted crayons in the dryer. Sleepless weeks.........The joys of motherhood, right? Who started that anyway? Did they have children? Sometimes, this is how I honestly feel. I am NEVER caught up on anything. These little people are destroying my house. I watch my 4 year old pluck a tender new shoot off of a plant that I have been trying to nurse back to life, pluck it, tear off every leaf, sprinkling them all over the living room floor, do a little hop and spin, and run off to do the next thing. He has NO IDEA, I take a deep breath and remind myself, this is only for a season.
They aren't always running through the house, destroying and devouring everything in their paths. We have our moments, like now for instance, I am sitting in my chair, writing to you, Jacob and Lydia are working diligently on a puzzle, Ruth and Hannah are building a house for the kittens, yes, kittens, as if we didn't have enough crazy happening here, we have 6 week old kittens too. And Nathanael? Where is he? Quiet is not a good sign where he is concerned. But, quiet is so nice, maybe I will wait a couple more minutes before I bust him for whatever he's gotten himself into this time. Is that responsible parenting? To know your child is getting into trouble, and ignore it? Am I being a slight bit selfish? Maybe. Oh well.
I hope you don't get me wrong here. I LOVE being a mother. It is a part of who I am created to be. But realistically, it isn't always easy or fun or even nice. Sometimes my teeth are clenched. I have learned a lot of hard truth about myself through my journey of motherhood. I can honestly say that I am not as selfish as I was at the start of this journey. I've learned to lay aside my needs for the greater good, not easy, but good, very very good.
My twenty year old daughter is pregnant with her first child and she made a comment that made me kind of smile today. She is just into her second trimester and has good and bad days. More good than bad, for which we are all thankful. She said after a particularly bad couple of days, "I have so much more respect for my mom now!" High Five for all mothers everywhere!!
There is something awesome about seeing the journey go forth, receiving the baton with honor and respect for those who have gone before us. We give and we give and we give more than we knew we had to give. Motherhood is so Christ-like. Jesus says that if we truly love we will lay down our lives for those we love. Motherhood is a beautiful picture of real love. Sometimes I need to be reminded that is is all worth it.
My Mother's mother