Ask any mom and they’ll probably confess that the picture they had in their head of what life would be like raising children is drastically different from their reality. No parent-yet-to-be can imagine the vast, gripping love they’ll feel for their child – it’s like an ache, a burn. The love you feel for your child or children is the most tender, the most ferocious, the most compelling feeling ever! Period.
I’m laughing as I write this because I’m raising teenagers. My husband and I face the complexity of loving our children as we longingly imagine them living elsewhere… yet, they’re so fun right now. They’re bursting with ideas and blooming with emotion and it’s great watching them grow, literally.
I remember being a first-time mom and frantically sterilizing everything that came within city limits of our baby. As a first-time mom I followed every rule and made up some of my own. I was confused when my wise Granny rolled her eyes and gave our infants peanut butter, honey and strawberries before the doctor’s regulated 18-month marker and laughed secretly. I later joined the club of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th time moms who lovingly wiped fallen, dirty pacifiers on their jeans and told their toddlers to put the slugs down.
Our parenting journey can take us to places we never imagined ~ glorious places of pride and accomplishment, worrisome, challenging places that bring growth and changes we n.e.v.e.r. saw coming, or even scary places where we might be lost for a while. Through it all though, a mom’s love is foundational and unwavering. We are that soft place for our children to land … when they need us; not necessarily when we need them. A mother’s love is unique in that we love our children away from us. Our teachings make them independent, strong and need us less. No other love is like that. We find joy in them spreading their wings and soaring, and then joy in their safe landing as well.
“That’s beautiful, honey, what is it?”
“Don’t you know, mommy?”
“Um, is it a cat by a tree?”
“Is it an elephant by a pond drinking water?”
“Are those clouds in a field with a mouse … no, a bear? Is it a bear?”
“No! No! No!” Mama.”
“I don’t know, sweetie, will you tell me what it’s a picture of?”
“It’s a picture of you, Mama, isn’t it pretty?”
“It’s the best picture I’ve ever seen.”
Your bliss awaits ~