Sunday, May 9, 2010

on why i became a mother.

"my mother's a nurse who fixes and patches,
all of my hurts and my sores and my scratches."

these are the lines that caleb will be saying today in church during the Mother's Day tribute.

i find it pretty ironic, since ben came home from a 4 day vacation with a fever, ear infection and swollen lymph nodes that are so painful he can't chew food.
i researched, made calls, filled out paperwork and he will be checking himself into the instacare in just a moment.

meanwhile, i will be tackling the parenthood thing by myself today.

i was remembering last year's Mother's Day.
it was rough, and i had a terrible attitude about it. i've never written about that day, or what my negative outlook did to spiral me into what i consider a dark place last summer & fall. {i will at some point though. i just have to figure out how to do it.}

it was a similar situation to today, where i was on my own in the parenting department. where i found myself wanting to not have to get up with the kids in the morning, to not have to be rushing around getting myself and two kiddos ready for church by myself and to not have to take them to church by myself. to not have to prepare every meal, change every diaper, stop every fight, and wipe every tear by myself. where i just wanted to be laying in bed, sleeping in as long as i wanted to and be served breakfast and told how amazing i am. {not that i don't deserve that, because i totally do! every mother does!}


morning, after my super-rushed shower {because i don't feel comfortable showering when leah is out & about...the girl is attracted to danger, so i had to put her in her crib with a bottle and ziiiiiip! through my showering regimen.}, i was blow drying and thinking.

what is Mother's Day for me??

why did i become a mother?
was it really so that everyone would drop to their knees one day a year and worship and honor me and tell me how amazing i am??


i thought back to being 9 months pregnant with caleb....on bedrest...laying on our couch because it the cushions supported my back better...and ben sleeping on the floor next to me {out of his own choice, i never asked. because he is so sweet like that}...and suddenly i was gripped with a suffocating anxiety.

bringing a baby into this nasty, vile world where there are mean and ugly and evil people just waiting to pounce on innocent and beautiful souls. my mind went to scary places, and pictured unthinkable things being done to this innocent child i was about to bring forth.

i couldn't do it.

i rolled over, onto the floor, and lay down next to ben, wrapping my arm tightly around him and sobbed quietly. {he snored.}

what were we thinking? how could i do this to another human being?

i knew that i would not be able to stop the pain that my child would eventually feel. his first hurt feelings over a kid who teased or did not like him, his first broken heart from a girl, the disappointments he would face. it was a part of life and i could not stop it or protect him from it.

and i was overcome.

i lay there crying and prayed to God to help me. i could not go back from this point, and un-do the pregnancy.

then i remembered a conversation that my sister and i had about this exact thing.
where we discussed that there are some horrifyingly ugly people in this world. there is the potential for traumatic things to happen to our children. they will face heartbreak and hurt and frustration and anger. {and what's more fun is that they may at some point try to blame me for all of it.}


what would happen if all of the decent, good humans on earth decided to let this fear of pain for our children stop us from procreating?

where would humanity be then????


i decided that i wanted to become a mother.

not just for myself and the ability to feel that overwhelming unconditional love. not just to be able to snuggle a warm, soft baby and know that they are a part of me and i am a part of them. not just to clap and smile and laugh as they said their first "mama," or beam with pride as they take their first steps. or have the feeling of love cause me to about burst as they hug me tightly at night and kiss me and say they love me.

those are the rewards. the easy parts.

but i also became a mother
so that i could have the opportunity to do my best to raise up good, honest, hard-working, considerate, compassionate human beings. human beings who are able to overcome and still be good through the bad that the will inevitably face.

to attempt to bring a balance to the nastiness of the world.

and if i can do that...if ben and i can do that together....then the rest will be worth it.

so as i was blow-drying my hair this morning, and realizing that this Mother's Day may not be what i had hoped it would be, that it was okay.

i made the choice to believe that it is okay.

and realize that it isn't about being honored. but that it is really about being with these children today and remembering what an honor and a privilege it is just to be with them. and that it was a righteous desire and a choice for me to be a mother.


now i will go re-build caleb's fort, change leah's poopy diaper, find ben's insurance card, get the rest of us to church, listen to caleb say his line over the microphone, feel leah's chubby arms wrap around my neck. fix meals, do dishes, wipe tears, stop fights.

and feel grateful for this choice that was made more than 5 years ago.

and teach and teach and teach and teach through it all.

and love every minute of it.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you!

{and also, a special shout out to those who may not be mothers in the conventional those who adopt, or take in foster children, or are the teachers who provide the soft place for children to be while they are away from home. i believe there is an exalted, special place for you in heaven. and i THANK YOU for being amazing and wonderful women!}


Andrea said...

Beautiful as always Lyns. And one day when Caleb is a famous composer/model/apostle and Leah is a famous chef/ballet dancer/sign language professor and the inevitable greatness your other eight children are bound to reach - then you will get your praise. And although I know you don't "need" it - I want to give it to you anyway. I think you are a fantastic mother - one that I would have literally given a limb to have as a child - and I think Caleb and Leah must have been pretty special spirits to land themselves in this house. I SO respect you and how you parent those two little ones.

Rachel H. said...

Beautiful post...I have had those mother's day for the past few years...and they can be very discouraging. So I love your take on it! :)

You really are an amazing mom. Seriously, those kiddos are DANG lucky to have your creativity, humor, and love every day all day!

Rachel Chick said...

Yes. I think we could have had a wonderful Pity Party together yesterday. Darn sick old husbands. :) thanks for your post. I can genuinely relate. Thanks for your wonderful perspective. -- And BTW, I LOVE that picture in your next post. Priceless.