Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Joy

Raising children is hard.

Very hard. They don't tell you that when you're pregnant. They don't tell you a lot of things when you're pregnant, like your body will never be the same, you will be a walking zombie for years to come due to massive sleep deprivation. You will probably break your ankle by walking on toys in the middle of the night, you will clean up more vomit than you ever dreamed was possible, and you will accept soggy cheerios from chubby, grimy little fingers and cherish them as being better than gold.

Your refrigerator door will hold art that means more to you than a Rembrandt. Finger food will give way to real food and wars over broccoli and asparagus and whole wheat goodness.

Once your children are old enough, friends who have been parents longer than you have will tell you how much to dread what's coming and you look at your sweet angels and can't ever imagine that such a dark, hormonal cloud will erupt within them.

But it does.

You go from bottles and diapers to backpacks and homework. From diaper rash to pimples in the blink of an eye.

You worry, you cry. You struggle. You spend a great deal of time on your knees pleading for help to know what to do, to make the right decisions and to know when to step in and when to step back.

You wonder if it is all worth it. You continue to struggle and try and just get through one more day. Then another. And another. You're told by others who have walked this path before you that one day you'll get your child back from the grasp of whatever it is that has them. They will become your friends and wonderful companions once they become adults.

You try to see that far ahead but have difficulty believing that it will happen.

It's not all bad, but sometimes it's bad enough that you stand outside their bedroom doors at night when they have gone to bed and cry. Pressing your face to the cold wood of the door, you pray, as you often do. You pray for the strength to continue to do what's right for them, you pray that all your teaching and hugging and loving will one day be remembered and that they won't really hate you as they have sometimes said they do.

And then.....it happens.

Dear Mommy,

Thank you so much for everything over the years. You're truly the best mom in the world! Now that I'm older, I can see how difficult raising kids & everything else is in life is & I can see that you brought us up to be the best we could be.

I love you and want you to know how grateful I am to you; without you I would have no right sense of direction in the world, or truly understand sacrifice. I love you Mommy!

Feliz Dia De Las Mamas!

Stephanie


Today I had a job interview for a job within the school district working with our immigrant families. It's a wonderful job and I'd love to have it. I was a bit nervous sitting in the office waiting to be called into the conference room for the interview. As I waited, I pulled that letter out of my binder and re-read it. Twice.
As I read it, I felt a wonderful sense of calm steal over me. Though I'd love to have that job, in the grand scheme of things it really doesn't matter. My real job, the very best job I've ever held is the one I've had for the past 21 years, 4 months and 11 days.

I'm a Mom.

2 comments:

  1. I read this poem maybe 20 years ago and I still remember it to this day...

    Excuse This House

    Some houses try to hide the fact
    That children shelter there.
    Ours boasts of it quite openly,
    The signs are every where.

    For smears are on the windows,
    Little smudges on the doors;
    I should apologize I guess
    For toys strewn on the floor.

    But I sat down with the children
    And we played and laughed and read,
    And if the doorbell doesn't shine,
    Their eyes will shine instead.

    For when at times I'm forced to
    Choose the one job or the other,
    I want to be a housewife...
    But first I'll be a mother.

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  2. It's those brief moments of joy that make being a parent survivable. Like when your children graduate from seminary, even though they didn't graduate from school (groan). Or when the first one actually does graduate from school - and does us proud. Now that same son is getting ready to sent in mission papers. We have to hope that at least we did one thing right... ;)

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Go ahead....tell me the truth :)