You are a Mother

Sometimes, I’m a why-don’t-you-play-over-there-for-five-more-minutes mom. Sometimes, I am a mom who hides in the bathroom with her smart phone, or who stays up way later than she should watching “Friends”reruns while eating cereal, because OMG, everybody else is asleep and the house is quiet and I can lay on the sofa without pants if I wish! I’m sometimes the mom who cries. Cries when she’s overly tired, when she’s overly frustrated, when she’s overly concerned over whether or not she is failing.

Sometimes , I’m the mom who lets the television and Disney Jr. do the talking or who lets the box of macaroni and cheese do the dinnertime thing so that I can just do my own thing. My own thing is standing barefoot in the kitchen, listening to music and doing dishes while eating a pickle.

I’m the mom who gets up in the middle of the night through the newborn-breastfeeding years right through the bad dreams, soiled sheets and kids-who-need-a-cup-of-water years. I’m the mom that’s been thrown up on, peed on, pooped on, cried on, stepped on, slept on, bounced on and spilled on because her overly ambitious two-year old daughter thought that mommy could use a cup of water. I’m the mom with stains on her pants. Stains on her shirt. Stains on her sofa. Stains on her carpet. Stains on her comforter. Stains, stains, stains.

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I’m the mom who has gone at it from sun up and cereal, from bath time and bedtime stories, and who will be right back at it again the next morning if I have to. I’m the T-ball mom. The cheering from the stands and being a champion for my champion because they can do this if they give it their best with all of the best they have to give. I’m the mom that says that if you want to go to outer space, I’d be OK with that, you just have to come back. I’m the mom that ties a blanket around her daughter’s neck into a cape so that she can be a super hero, too.

What about you?

Are you the single woman, raising a child mostly or completely on her own? You’re single, but you’re making dinners for two and you mostly have to parent for two. It will be just you in the auditorium on graduation day, beaming from your seat. You have to be the mom and the dad and teach them how to treat a lady or how to sit while they’re wearing a skirt, but how no one gets to tell you that there isn’t something that you can’t do just because you’re you.

You are a Mother.

Are you the woman who is waiting? Waiting for her womb to be filled, waiting for her arms to be filled, for her ache to be filled? A woman who still loves others with all of her whole heart. Especially the little ones who belong to a friend, or the little ones that you meet at the library or the grocery store. The children that you can’t help from instantaneously having a heart for. Loving them as if they were your own. A woman who never shuns the chance to show care and guidance to those who may need it.

You are a Mother.

Photo Credit: In His Grace Photography

Photo Credit: In His Grace Photography

Are you the new mom whose trying? Trying valiantly even though she still feels like she is sinking? Trying and feeling like she is failing because she doesn’t love A.L.L. of this like she thought she would or like she thinks she is supposed to? And you rock that baby and you cry and you pray and you hurt. Because it’s hard. But you get up, and you feed that baby, and you love on that baby and you hug and hold tight to that baby just one more time before you set them down because maybe your hugs will keep everything that’s frightening away, and because there is nothing better than the prayers of protection from a mother over her child. You do it even when it’s hard.

You are a Mother.

Are you a woman who teaches? Who encourages them to pick up the paint brush and touch bristle to canvas? Who sings the alphabet? Who teaches them to use sign language? Who rolls out the play dough and makes butterflies? Are you a woman who reads the same books over and over, listens to the same questions over and over? Are you the woman who points out the colors in the sky and holds hands for a walk in the sunshine? Are you a woman who tells them that beauty really comes from deep down inside a beautiful heart and that we can have a beautiful heart if we try?

You are a Mother.

Are you a woman who can’t say no? Who fills up her kitchen sink with water, pushes a dining room chair up  to the counter and lets her little ones can play in the water, even though she knows her floor is going to be soaked? Are you a woman lets her little ones jump in, play in or sit in a puddle? Who carries delighted, wet little ones home when they are done? A mom who lets her children bury her toes in the sandbox? A mom who paints their faces and so that they can be a super hero? A mom who concedes to five more minutes, the same story, just one more time or to rocking them for just one minute before bed?

You are a Mother.

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Are you a mother who is grieving? Who has lost? Who wears the face of grief that is so easily concealed beneath the face of normality? Because you learn to live with it, and hold it all inside, hold it all back? You could never forget your one and only baby. The baby that you never got to meet. The baby you still grieve for and hope to see again one day. The hopes and dreams that went with them when they parted. A heart who is healing, still learning, but a heart that still loves despite incomparable dismay?

You are a Mother.

Are you a woman who adopted? Who hoped and prayed and wished for the right baby to find your home, to find you. That you would find them. Babies who were forgotten. Babies who were unloved. Babies who needed a place, and somebody to give them a place and call them their own, because isn’t that what we all deserve? To have a face that matters to someone else, a face that someone would miss? You were patient, and you adjusted, and you connected and you let time work its way until it all felt like family and the way that it had always been. 

You are a Mother.

 

Photo Credit: In His Grace Photography

Photo Credit: In His Grace Photography

What makes up a mother?

You.

The whole of you. 

And, you don’t just do dishes. You don’t just fold laundry. You don’t just brush and braid hair, and finish homework, and run errands and act like this faceless, dispassionate being behind the wheel of a minivan. You aren’t just a blurry face drinking from a coffee cup, or a body standing over a hot stove. You aren’t just quiet prayers at night and failures and discouragement.You aren’t even merely success or a life of constant accomplishments. You aren’t just the good. You aren’t just the bad. 

You’re the mom.

And you get to be a gift.

Every day.

 

 

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