Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

As a baby, Emily was truly joyful, affectionate, and easy to please.  The same is true today.

At age two, she had already experienced something traumatic.  When she was 18 months old, she had a febrile seizure that sent her to the hospital in the back of an ambulance.  I thought she had died in my arms.  My mother performed cpr while I watched in fear for my child.  She stopped breathing and later went into a deep sleep.  Her time in the hospital was very difficult, as we were separated from one another by a crib with tall bars.  

Thankfully, she went on with a healthy childhood and never experienced another seizure.  She found bliss everywhere, but especially loved visits to her grandparents home.

From age nine til now, Emily endures long car rides (over 14 hours) to see either me or her dad.  Still, she smiles.

There is a ten year difference between the arrival of my children.  Elliot coming into our lives was like starting all over from scratch.  He changed all of our lives.  He amplifies joy.

And he has a sweet tooth like you wouldn't believe.  
Elliot kept us all busy with his playful exploration of his world.  He loved to dance and still does.

Despite a ten year age difference, they love one another so much.  In my eyes, they are more alike than different.

On this mother's day, I'm thinking of my children, my mom and the memory of my grandmothers.  I'm thinking of my friends who inspire me with their stories of mothering. But I'm also thinking of two friends who have tried for years to have a baby.  Ironically, these friends are two of the most loving, kind, nurturing, gentle people I've ever known.  When I think of their struggle to become parents, I see my children as miracles.  As masterpieces of God's love.  And I am humbled.  

Happy Mother's day to all on this special day.  Happy Mother's Day to the childless givers who nurture and enrich their communities.  Happy Mother's Day to the ones who by the example of just being themselves, promote peace and kindness.  Happy Mother's Day to those who are having a rough time in their relationship with their moms, or who have had to grieve the loss of their mom.  My father lost his mother at age thirteen.  This day was bound in sadness for him for many many years.  He was born on Mother's Day and tried to keep that pocket of sadness hidden while we sang to him and ate cake.

Maybe for some, Mother's Day is hard because you are separated by hundreds or thousands of miles.

The reality of being a mom means that you eventually have to let go.  While there is a certain freedom in that, it can be the most difficult challenge of an adult life.  In some ways, I never let go.  I never let go of the love that I have for both of my children.  In Mary Gordon's words, "the relationship between a parent and a child is the most important relationship under the stars."

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