“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” –Elizabeth Stone
Someday you will understand. Someday, you will, I hope, be a parent too, and you will understand how much your children shape and reshape you. You will experience the pain and the joy that comes from giving your heart away. You will examine your character, your relationships, and your decisions through new eyes. You will see life through the eyes of a child, and your soul will thrill to see beauty and innocence again. It is an indescribable adventure and a lifelong journey. I am privileged to share it with you.
I wanted to be a “good” and “fun” and “perfect” Mom…the kind who baked cookies and milk, who never lost her temper, who always took time to listen. I wanted to roll out of bed in the morning with a song on my lips. I wanted to be the one to wipe away your tears, and chase away your fears. To be your greatest cheerleader. To never miss celebrating a special moment. I wanted to be Mrs. Cleaver…able to gracefully solve any problem in half an hour or less. I wanted to be a “good” and “perfect” Mom…
Instead, you got a real Mom…I baked cookies (that were often burned or funny looking) and bandaged boo-boos. I tried to pay attention and never turn you away, even in the middle of the night. But I know I didn’t always do it gracefully. I didn’t always keep my temper, or put my “listening ears” on. I failed in many ways, and you will too. Humble yourself before your children when you need to – they love you any way. Treat each day as a new beginning.
Sing loudly even when you don’t know the words…make up your own. It doesn’t matter if they’re super silly or they don’t rhyme. Words like “poop” will always get a laugh. Pick dandelions. Blow bubbles. Make faces. Play. (actually that’s good advice even when you don’t have kids…)
I hope that I have given you some happy memories – things like snuggling on the couch, rescuing worms on rainy days, arts & crafts, and bedtime stories. Savour these little moments – you are giving the gift of time. Children never remember the “big” moments, the ones that adults think are important. Plan “big” moments any way!
Pray without ceasing. It is the only way that you will begin to have the strength, patience, and wisdom you will need for each day, from diapers to driving lessons, and everything in between and beyond. It is one of the most important things you can do for them, and for you!
There are many memories that I treasure in my heart. To Big Guy: “I love you forever, I like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be”. To Little Guy: “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray…” You guys are the biggest part of my “story” – some day I’ll tell you more. Love ya’