A Child’s Birthday

There are many things I don’t remember clearly the older I get.  When you start doing the math, it’s not all that surprising.  After all I have lived more than 53 years.  Now multiply those 53 years by 365 days.  Wait we aren’t done yet – each one of those days has 24 hours in it and each of those hours has 60 minutes.  And as if that wasn’t enough each of those minutes has 60 seconds.  That’s a lot of moments to try to capture and remember and yet….There are some moments that build rooms in our house of memories.  For in those moments that cement we accepted the invitation to be more than we were before and are forever changed.  To be successful we will need to lean on God and others to help us along our way.  I know that for me becoming a mother was such a moment.  I have the privilege to be called mom to two amazing people – a daughter and a son – both adults.  When I think of my heart – it resembles a mature tree with deep roots and carved into the very center of my bark are the names Tamara and Evan. I’m sure if you are a mom you have a name or two carved on your heart that you carry around with you.

Today is my daughter’s 29th birthday and 2012 was a milestone moment for her – for she now has a name carved in the bark of her tree –  welcome 5-month-old Caden. Yesterday as I was leaving her home  she said something that became another remembered moment for me.  Why?…. because I remember saying something similar to my mother shortly after I became a mom.  She said “Thanks,  mom, for birthing me (you have to know my girl 🙂 and then added .. for taking care of me.  Being a mom isn’t easy.”
You see there are some things you just can’t know until you walk it – you can be appreciative but there is a deeper level when you know firsthand the tiredness, the worry with a sick child, being covered with spit up, and the need to make sure this little person is being cared for before you make plans.  No one can tell you what happens to your insides when your baby’s eyes light up when you walk into the room or how you feel when they accomplish a new task or how flexible you become in your wants to make sure they have a new koala hat. Yes she is understanding this mommy thing; and I am very proud of her.
Often looking back gives us perspective and it is with a grateful heart, I share a few things from my mother’s heart:
1.  No matter how many birthdays your child celebrates – they will always be your babies.  –Remember, Tamara, when you look at your baby (or Evan – your nephew) that same look of love that shines from your eyes has shown in my eyes for you.–
2.  Motherhood is not a one-size fits all.  Each child is unique and stretches us to do our best for each.
3.  Loving is hard at times.  Although we long for our children to be happy and content – sometimes saying no is the kindest most loving thing we can do.  We may later get to experience friendship type of experiences with our grown children but a mother’s primary job is to mother, to be their child’s advocate and to guide them away from harm.
4.  Love doesn’t change but mothering will go through different phases.  A mother who can’t grow past mothering a young child will have difficulties trying to forge a healthy relationship with an adult child.  It is our job to help this little person become an independent, responsible and caring adult.
5.  Hold onto your joy meter because even though there will be challenging times, there will more happy, put a smile on your face – cartwheel moments than you can ever dream of.
6.  Children help adults grow up.
Anyway – I think what I really want to say is “Thank you Tamara and Evan.  I so love being your mom.”  And one more thing to my mom – “Mom, I love you and thanks for birthing me.”