Sunday, May 10, 2009

On being a mother

Being a mother is the most difficult and enjoyable position I have ever held. When they handed that baby- who seems to have no bones- and introduce the two of us for the very first time, I remember crying- with both of them. What a miracle! What a responsibility.
Most of my memories are very good. Working at the schools the kids went to. Attending soccer, running, wrestling (ok- not so fun), singing, scouts, softball events. Working on projects and papers late into the night. Enjoying schools in review. Going to the park, zoo, aquarium, birthday party, back yard bbqs, camping, the beach. Making sandwiches with cookie cutters and freezing veggies so they tasted better. Having dinner on the porch or at the table. Packing them up for a long day of travel to see various family members.
There were some very scary times too. The emergency room visit when I insisted that dd ride a bike when she was really not ready, or when ds ate an entire bottle of Flinstone vitamins. How about the ride to the emergency room in Saudi for another broken arm? The ride back from school after DH's building was destroyed by terrorists- not knowing who survived- was a scary time. I kept looking at both the children wondering how to explain it all.
Saying good bye to my young adult son at West Point, knowing it would be a difficult journey for him- and difficult to be without him. Saying goodby to my daughter as she drove off with her little family- knowing how scary it is to finally be totally in charge of a new life herself.
Sometime my anger was not in check and I said mean things. I didn't watch quite so closely and they spent some time with people I found, later, were not respectable. I insisted on Catholic school before checking the atmosphere- assuming it would be the best choice. Choosing to always "go to" Christmas instead of building traditions at home.
I learned from the nuns in Vietnam that "it is the mother who passes religion from one generation to the next" and took it to heart. Serving Mass, nightly prayers, singing in the choir, serving the poor- all things we did together.
Being a mom is not easy. Sometimes it is compromise- like returning to work so the DH can stay home and be a dad. Sometimes it is solitary- like going to well baby checks to find that the baby is not so well. Sometimes it is exhilarating- like seeing my daughter walk down the isle in all of her beauty, and my son graduate in all of his confidence.
All in all- it is worth every second of worry and strain. I love my children and I thank God that I have my husband to share them with. We are blessed to have the life we do. Now we have a son-in-law and grandchild to grow with as well. Ah- life is good!

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Beautiful post, Janette!!