One week from tomorrow, I’ll have been a Mom for 13 years. 13 whole years. My sweet little Rocketboy is now a huge kid taller than me, who wears size 14 shoes. Sometimes it seems like I can still picture so clearly, the earnest little blonde toddler lining up his Hot Wheel cars in “parking lots” in his Noah’s Ark bedroom. It sometimes seems as if he’s been taken away and replaced with this big kid with dark hair and braces who needs to be reminded to put his deodorant on or else he “smells like hotdogs!” (His words!) It’s such a cliche, but time flies so quickly when you have little ones!
As we’ll be celebrating Rocketboy’s entry into teenagerhood (already!) next week, I thought it’d be a good chance to look back on Motherhood in general as well. I can’t believe I’ve been doing this 13 years already. I know I’ve really been blessed with these three kiddos, and it’s been such a privilege to be their Mama.
It hasn’t always been sunshine and roses, there was a patch when Rocketboy was 8 or so that every day was a struggle with school. I’ve heard it isn’t uncommon in homeschooling boys that age; that they just want to play, and lose interest in learning and anything related. Oh yeah, we went through that. Thankfully we stuck with it, and he enjoys school now. And then all three babies of mine didn’t know how to sleep… I know that’s common too, but it was hard on Mama not getting any sleep until they were 2 years old or longer. Almost 4 years for Fixergirl. And then there were Ottergirl’s food intolerances when she was a baby. No doctor would believe me when I told them she was reacting to foodstuffs, one even went so far to say she was just allergic to breastmilk and I should start her on soy formula. (One of the things I had been saying she’d been reacting to!) After a Mom-diagnosis of Milk-Soy Protein Intolerance, (thanks to help from Dr. Google!) we set up our own diets and she eventually outgrew the condition at age three. And then there’s Fixergirl’s track record… she’s only six years old but has already had two ER visits for staples, and one for stitches. Oh and then there’s the time Rocketboy put his hand through the glass door… eight stitches. Or when he cut his hand when he was a toddler and it wouldn’t stop bleeding, and we lived out in the boonies and it was an hour to the nearest hospital, so we took him to his pediatrician instead. He decided the best way to handle it would be to cauterize it chemically because Rocketboy’s finger was too small to stitch, (and only afterward realized he should have numbed it first.) So glad Rocketboy is too young to remember that one! And then there was the heartache of losing two little ones through miscarriage in just a matter of months. I still think of them as my “twins” because, technicalities aside, they both came into our lives and back out in such a short period of time.
Those are just some “lowlights.” If it were all I focused on, I’d say being a Mom was very hard, indeed, because a Mama’s heart can’t help but want to protect her little ones, and shield them from all the pain and ugliness that this old world has to throw their way.
The highlights on the other hand, are far too numerous to list. And despite all that listed above, I wouldn’t miss these for the world. From seeing those first little baby smiles as they wake up every morning, to the joy in their eyes as they hold their siblings for the first time. The wonder of picking handfuls of flowers and capturing butterflies, and licking frosting off of beaters and opening birthday and Christmas presents and getting sticky sweet hugs. It makes everything else worth it. Watching that “lightbulb” click on for the first time as they learn to read, and watching them, years later, carry huge stacks of books from the library. Seeing them comfort each other when scraped knees and elbows happen. Watching them cuddle together in bed and giggle about the day before it’s time to say prayers and goodnight.
I’m still learning that being a Mom often comes with tears. I’m learning from my Mom and other empty nesters that caring for your kiddos doesn’t end when they grow up and have families of their own. I’m learning that someday when I have grandkids of my own, that my love for them won’t just shut off when they leave and the door closes behind them. That I’ll still want to know everything going on in their lives and to be a part of it as much as I ever did with my own kids. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that being a Mom doesn’t just end when the kids graduate and you’ve “finished” your job! It’s a job that doesn’t end until Jesus calls us home.
I know there are lots of things we still have yet to face as we embark on this new phase of life… teenagerhood! But I know I have the best advisee in my corner. James 1:5 says, “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God — who gives generously and ungrudgingly — and it will be given to him.” I have a feeling I’m going to be bending His ear plenty in the coming years.
But most of all, I want to say thank you, to my Mom. For being there through all the highs and lows, both in dealing with turmoil and celebrating our triumphs through the years, and loving unconditionally throughout it all. I’ve truly learned from the best. I love you Mom!
What are your favorite highlights of being a Mom? What “lowlights” have you overcome? What advice do you have for new Moms, or for Moms who have been in the trenches awhile, that may need a new perspective?
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