Mother’s Day, 2016

Daughters of mine.  I am going to talk at church on Mother’s Day. Mom doesn’t know and I want to keep it that way.  Anyway, I would like each of you, as you are now Mothers and Wives, to write a paragraph about mom, looking from the perspective that you now have as daughters, mothers and wives.  Thanks, Dad

I used to think that the greatest gift I had ever been given was my life. My literal, physical life. Now that I have my own children, I know what a sacrifice that literal, physical life is to give to another person, but I’ve since realized that the greatest gift I’ve ever been given was my LIFE – in the grander sense of the word.

My children are very young – six months and three years old – and so I have had but a VERY SMALL glimpse into what it is going to take to give two people a LIFE beyond life itself.

See, motherhood is not just in the life-giving, motherhood is in the every day, the choices made in the every moment. It is soothing that cry in the middle of the night followed by that 6:00 AM bright-eyed-bushy-tailed-toddler wake up call. It is in the grocery shopping and meal planning and meal making and meal clean up and you know, ALL the diapers. It is in the work to make the money to buy the food in the first place. It is in the bathing and the getting dressed and the laundry. The packing of the bags to make the memories. And then the unpacking of the bags. And then, well, more laundry. It is in the reading of the books every single day. It is in the singing of the nursery rhyme songs. It is in the dress up box and at the top of the slide at the park. It is in the painting of the tiniest fingernails, the brushing of the hair and the teeth, the kisses, the hugs, bandaids on scraped knees, and taking a deep, DEEP, DEEEEEEEEP breath during the tantrums.

I try not to think too hard about the fact that this is the simplest it is ever going to be for me as a mother. That we haven’t even started school, and friends, and alcohol, and the internet, and love, and sex, and jobs and the world. I just try to work hard and hope that my capacity grows along with theirs.

And the thing about being a mother is that it never stops. I firmly believe that the older your kids get the more they need you. At least, that’s how it is for me. I just turned 40 and I need my mother for everything from taking care of my kids while I’m laying on the bathroom floor, sick as a dog while my husband is on shift, to asking for the upteenth time how long it takes to cook an artichoke.

Every day Alek and I do what we like to call “the sweep.” After the kids are in bed we go around picking up toys, doing dishes, talking about how things went that day, how we could do better and be better and generally pushing the “reset” button in preparation for the next day. And every day at the end of “the sweep”, I feel SO grateful for my parents. So grateful for all of the moments and the days and the years and the choices that gave me my LIFE.

Thank you mom, for my LIFE. And for extending all of that infinite love to my babies, the life you give goes on and on.

xo,
Natalie

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