Saturday, January 26, 2013

To Mother is to Learn

I've always known that I loved being a mother.  Since I pushed my first child out after two and a half hours of unproductive pushing over seven years ago.  What I didn't know is how much being a mother would change me.  I knew that my job would be to love them.  That is usually the easy part for me.  I knew that it would be hard too, it is actually much more difficult than I thought it would be.  I knew I would lose sleep and shed tears.  But I didn't know how much I would be changed. I have six children, only three of them here living and breathing on this earth.  

I wear this ring to honor all of my children
I had no idea how much being a mother would bless me.  I was so blessed when I had each of the boys because I really wanted to be a MOB (mother of boys).  I felt like that was a special gift that God had given me to earn that title.  I was enthralled with it.  I embraced the dump trucks and sports memorabilia (as much as my ex would allow since he doesn't like sports).  I loved being a mother of sons.  It was so awesome.  I felt like it was healing for my heart in a way that I did not know it needed to be healed.  I expressed this thankfulness to God and through the zeal with which I approached mothering my two stairstep sons, born a mere 14 months apart.  I loved that they were so close in age.  I knew that whether they fought or not they would be partners in crime and mischief and life together.  

Partners, buddies, brothers and friends   
 After the boys there was a lot of turmoil in my life and eventually I got pregnant again and I lost that baby.  And again and lost that one too.  I can't express to you the grief of watching a child grow within you for months only to know they died and nothing else.  Not their gender, not their name or eye color or who's nose they had.  I had a friend walk through these times with me.  We lost two babies back to back together.  I'm not sure Angie and I can ever disconnect from one another because we have gone through grief together.  Needless to say after these losses I was worried.  I didn't want to risk my heart again.  I had two healthy babies and then two totally inexplicable miscarriages.  

But we did eventually try again and I got pregnant again.  I wasn't as nauseous in the beginning so I was sure I was going to miscarry.  I didn't really let myself believe I was pregnant until 11 or 12 weeks.  Of course my belief was confirmed by the beginning of me not being able to keep anything down at all.  This time I felt a shift in my thinking.  I really wanted a girl.   I felt like my heart had healed enough that I was willing to risk a mother daughter relationship.  I had been terrified of what that would mean for me before.  Boys had seemed safer.  But come on, really?  I had two boys back to back, my thinking was that therefore I would have another boy.  

And then she came into the world, my daughter named after a fictional princess, Eowyn Nate'.  A princess that did what no man could do and slayed a great evil creature.  I wanted my daughter to know she was not less than anyone.  She could do anything anyone else could do and probably more than others could do.  But she was also a princess.  She was good and beautiful and perfect.  She had grace and strength.  Her beauty no more made her weak than her strength could cause her beauty to lessen.  They both exist in balance and both are required of her in this world.  They have different but important purposes.   

To become the best version of herself she would have to learn to be a good steward of both.  She shouldn't use her beauty to wound and wield power.  Nor she should use her strength to become an overlord above others.  She needs to use her beauty to heal and her strength to fight and defend the weak.  Sometimes the weak will reside within her own soul and she will have to use her strength to defend the more fragile parts of herself.  Sometimes she will doubt her beauty and look to others to confirm its presence.  But one reminds us of the other.  When she feels her strongest she will not doubt her beauty and when she embraces her beauty her strength will shine.  

My daughter has reminded me of the truth I need to learn about myself.  I am beautiful and I am strong. No matter how many times I was told that I was weak, insignificant and ugly and unattractive and unintelligent, if I don't believe those things about her, I should not believe them about me either.  Becoming a mother has both reminded me of who I already am and stretched me into who I can become.  You cannot teach your children what you don't truly believe.  You teach them what they see in you, not the words that come out of your mouth.  If I want my children to believe they are kind, smart and important, then I need to treat them and myself that way.  

Being a mother has soften the harder edges of me but also sharpened a blade that allows me to cut out all of the useless parts more quickly.  I am so thankful that becoming a mother has caused me to learn.  Without learning we stagnate, and then die.  There is not a neutral gear in life, you are either going forward or backwards.  

You is kind, you is smart, you is important.  

Thank you beautiful smart girl...


for teaching me that I am too.
 

1 comment:

  1. You are correct my friend. Our hardships and trials have creates an unbreakable bond that few can understand. You are blessed, your children are beautiful, as are you

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