Monday, 24 September 2012
Monday ponderings . . .
"In the eyes of it's mother, every beetle is a gazelle."
If you had asked me when I was a girl what I wanted to be when I grew up I would have told you a mother and a homemaker. That is what I wanted to be more than anything. I loved my doll and my paper dolls. I loved playing house. I loved everything there was to do with homemaking. When I got older and began to take Home Economics at school, I have to say it was my favourite subject and I always loved the homemaking badges and tests that I did in Brownies and Girl Guides. Yes . . . I wanted to be and aspired to be a cross between June Cleaver and Aunt Bee, with a little bit of Samantha Stevens thrown in for good measure. (I still can't wiggle my nose.)
The happiest day of my life was the day they put my oldest son into my arms. I finally had what I had wanted my whole life . . . someone that I could love who would love me back in that same special way . . . that love which is reserved for mother and child. It was everything I had ever imagined it to be and more . . . and I have to confess I felt that very same way when each one of my five children came into my life, and not just from the moment they were placed into my arms either . . . but from the very moment I knew I was pregnant. There is something very sacred about nurturing life in that way, and my heart aches for those women out there who are unable to experience it.
Was I a perfect mom . . . far from it. Did I try my best . . . absolutely. Did I let them down from time to time . . . of course. Nobody is perfect, and neither was I. My children are and have always been my greatest love and my single greatest accomplishment in life . . . and I am so very proud of each of them in a very special way. They are each so very unique and beautiful people with wonderful assets and strengths . . . and special qualities, qualities which I admire greatly. Each are their own little success story . . . even though they are all very much works in progress, but then again . . . at the ripe old age of 57, I am a work in progress too.
Mothers and fathers are there to teach their children, in loving and considerable ways . . . but children also teach their parents. Some of my profoundest lessons have been taught to me by my children. One of the very first things you learn as a mother is selflessness . . . from the time you know you are carrying them, to the minute they are born and placed into your arms and onward forever and forever . . . your life is devoted to their care, well being and happiness. No matter what, no matter when, no matter how . . . this is a devotion that never lessens or disappears, no matter how old they get, or how far away. It matters not that they disappoint you from time to time, or that they sometimes even outright abandon you . . . you would still walk through fire for any one of them, no questions asked. I have been hurt many times over the past 38 years in my career as a mother . . . but I remember them not, and would tell anyone that my children have always been, always will be, and are . . . my greatest joy.
Through them I learned patience. Oh for sure I can still be impatient about some things . . . but most of what I learned about patience I learned from them. Watching your babies grow and rejoicing in their little accomplishments along the way . . . those first smiles, those first teeth, first steps . . . first day of school, learning to tie their own shoes, first report card . . . the list goes on and on, and with each first comes a lesson learned in patience and dogmatism . . . on the rewards of endurance and stick-to-it-ness. They learn along the way, all that we can teach them . . . and they in turn, teach us back.
They taught me about unconditional love . . . what mother on earth has never had the words, "I hate you!" hurled at them in a fit of teenage angst and hormonal emotion. Doors slammed, emotions raw . . . and a myriad of other ways you may disappoint your children, or they disappoint you . . . but the love stays. No matter what . . . always. You may fall out of love with husbands . . . you may fall out of love with your friends . . . you may have a falling out with your siblings or other family members . . . but you never stop loving your children, ever. It just doesn't happen . . . even Hitler's mother loved him.
It doesn't matter how old they get, or how independent, or even how far away they may live . . . or how busy they may get in their lives with their own families, careers, friends, hobbies . . . your mind never veers very far from their center . . . your heart always stays with them . . . worries about them, loves them, supports them, upholds them in prayers for their happiness and well-being, covers them . . . as a mother hen covers her chicks. It is necessary for them to fly out of the nest and spread their wings . . . and for them to fly away . . . but they always, always take a little piece of your heart and soul with them. That's just the way it is . . . and the way it will ever be.
Just so long as they know where you are . . . and that you remain a constant in their lives . . . so they know where to come when they need you. It's not always easy. But then . . . it's not supposed to be. We only need to know that it's always worth it . . . the being there no matter what, the loving and caring . . . the prayers, the laughter . . . the tears.
All I ever really wanted to be was a mother and a homemaker . . . the greatest job on earth. I may sometimes feel like a failure . . . I may never be thanked or honored, maybe I don't even deserve those things . . . but I am and I have done all I ever wanted to do and to be. I am content with that.
“And if those children are unresponsive, maybe you can't teach them yet, but you can love them. And if you love them today, maybe you can teach them tomorrow.”
~Jeffrey R Holland
That is and always will be my hope. There are things I may wish that I could go back and do over again, but I can't. I just have to know and be content with the fact that I did my best.
It's raining!! Blah!! Cold too!! Hello autumn! We may be having a photography family portrait done today of ourselves and Mitzie. I can't wait. It's something that I have wanted to have done for a while now. It all depends on if the photographer has to go to another appointment or not.
I wish for each of you a beautiful day . . . in big ways and in small . . . pockets of joy . . . lots of hugs . . . the comfort of loving and being loved . . . plenty of smiles.
Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . an Irish Apple Cake.