Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mommy, Madre, Mama, Mammy, Mutter

Tomorrow will be my 9th Mother's day (if you count the pregnant one) as one of the honored guests. My house daily overflows with kids and their laughter and tantrums alike. And I love it! And I am regularly seized with excitement mingled with terror as we ride this wild roller coaster of parenting.

Even on the days that I am longing for a vacation, I am filled with gratitude. I won't tell them until they are ready to move out (for fear that it may go to their heads) but these small people inhabiting my home are the not the only students of life lessons here. Even as I instruct, and console, and mend, and kiss, and wait, and breathe, and count to ten, I am struck by the knowledge that these "teachable moments" are as much for me as for them. There are so many revelations to be unwrapped in the words and through the eyes of children.

I have learned that patience takes practice for everyone, no matter how many years you have lived.
I have learned that ants, blades of grass, wind, moving water, and human body are creations deserving of observation.
I have learned that even something as common as the birth of another baby can hold the status of miracle.
I have learned that crayon can be washed out of a dryer with WD-40 and time.
I have learned that potty-training comes in it's own time despite singing potties, color changing pull-ups, and cool books about peeing.
I have learned that the very best, meticulously made plans just aren't worth anything when the latest favorite teddy is lost.
I have learned that love has no boundaries. None. It can go everywhere.
I have learned that little boys are born thinking little girls have penis envy. That one is definitely nature rather than nurture.
I have learned that even though scraped knees hurt, they are crucial to the process of learning to ride a bike and the even more difficult lesson is that heartbreaks are crucial to learning the lessons of friendship, self-worth, and compassion.

I am still learning how to let go and trust other people not to damage the children I love so deeply.
I am still learning how not to come to the rescue all the time.
I am still learning how very not in control of anything I really am.
I am still learning that sometimes resistance is futile.
I am learning that Motherhood belongs to anybody who chooses to nurture, lift up, mend, and teach.

And most importantly, I think, I am coming to understand why God doesn't always come to my rescue just when and how I ask. Yet, just as I am waiting to embrace my children after a particularly difficult lesson or applaud them when they accomplish something that seemed impossible to them before, I know my Abba is there.

There are so very many lessons yet to come on this ever evolving journey and I hope I remember to slow down and pay attention enough to learn them well.

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