July 11, 2009

saturday morning...

there are things i didn't understand when i left the hospital with my first baby.
i remember thinking, that's it... you're just letting me take him.
i don't have to pass a test, or show you i know how to change a diaper. seriously, it's harder to get a drivers license than a baby.
i love the sweet, nervous, naive, idealistic mother that i was then. i had grand plans.
although i had already abandoned my midwife natural birth for an epidural. (even before i left the hospital ideal one was gone... and, for your information, i think epidurals are wonderful, when they work-- although, my last two babies i've preferred the general- put me under- anesthesia)
no candy.
i was going to teach jakob that apples were dessert.
no tv.
no violence.
no weapons.
no bottles.
no spankings.
no yelling.
he would be obedient, kind, smart, clean, creative, strong...
and, he is all those things. just not exactly how i imagined them to be.
i had no idea just how much my life would change.
it's a good thing you have no idea.
like, when i was in my 12th hour of "natural" pitosin induced labor with no epidural, i announced, "
This is stupid." Then I asked, "How in the world does anyone do this? How did they do this long ago?"
The nurse said, "Why do you think there are bars on the window honey?"

I had no idea that having a baby meant a complete loss of alone.
It is a rare day for a mother to potty, run an errand, sleep, eat, bathe, read, cook... do anything alone.
And, even when you may be alone, you have ghosts with you. You are continually looking in the back seat or hearing doors squeak open or feeling eyes above you.
Somehow they know right when you're about to bite into the one hidden piece of chocolate in your house, "Can I have a bite?"

Yup. Motherhood means you always have somebody.
When you think ME, it's two, or three, or six. Always. Motherhood is forever. I remember thinking, this will NEVER end.
There are very few decisions that you make in life that are eternal. You can change your hair color, change your major, set goals and forget about them, move...
Even marriage can end. Motherhood, never. You can choose to be a good mom, or a sucky mom, but either way, you are always a mother.

There are so many amazing things about being a mom.

Like, seeing God, seeing beauty, seeing miracles. To hold a little baby, a newborn baby that you "made". That miraculously formed inside of you while you complained on the couch... it's amazing. I remember todd and i holding our newborn and thinking... how could anyone look at this miracle and not believe in a supreme being.

Babies are gifts.
Beautiful, amazing packages.
Toes, fingers, even that first amazing heart beat.
They know how to suck and cry and make you feel like the most powerful and the most helpless person in the whole universe.
The miraculous moments never stop.

One day they roll. Just like that, a new skill learned.
You can't really teach a kid to roll.
And then one day they point to a letter and say, F. or, Green. or, they win the kindergarten math bee, and you know they are smart. so smart, and learning from everything around us.
they use logic like, "Mom, when i grow up and ride horses, then can i shoot people?"
You cringe and you smile cause you remember that you are the most powerful and the most helpless person in their universe.

They don't run into the street after the ball, and you know you have influenced them.

They refuse to eat the green mush you try to pry through their lips or they will not poop on the toilet, and you know they are more powerful than you are.

They are bad, very bad.
They write on your walls or carve their name into your new coffee table or scream and fall on the floor and call you the worst thing they can think of, and you still love them. a lot.

Then, you know what love is, and that you are loved. forever.

You watch them share a toy with a baby at church and you burst with pride.
They throw a tantrum at the grocery store, you don't even know why, and you are humble, very humble.
You cuddle and tickle their chubby belly and they giggle the most intoxicating, adorable sound you have ever heard and you experience true joy.
They get sick and hot.
 They cry and whine, and spit orange Tylenol with codeine all over you, in the middle of the night, for the third time. You don't know what to do, you're worried and you're loosing your sweet, reassuring, coaxing voice.
You experience frustration.
True frustration.
And the 50th time your two year old comes out of bed to get a tissue, or get a drink, or go potty, or say goodnight... you're mad.
But really, it's funny.
Even if you don't think it's funny, some angel grandma is sitting beside you laughing more the more flustered you get. But, the only reason angel grandmas laugh is because they've been there and they've learned the lessons you are learning.
Motherhood moments are all funny and amazing if you look at them from a distance.  
Experiencing them, they are teaching and growing and stretching moments. Motherhood isn't about influencing others, although i believe you do. Motherhood is about learning.
You aren't raising children, you are becoming.

One of my favorite scriptures is psalms 113:9 "He maketh the barren women to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord."
i started a barren woman. and i am becoming a joyful mother... saturday mornings. do you remember what they used to be?

and, even if i happen to have a saturday morning with no little ones cuddled up beside me, they are there. in my thoughts, my dreams, my prayers, my senses reach out to know they are well. and, i'm so grateful for the fullness of my life that i'm happy to share my saturday mornings with them.
note: my sweet cousin leah just found out that she is pregnant with her first baby!!! leah, i was thinking of you as i tried to sleep in this morning... i'm so excited watch as you become a mother!! hug Chase from me... you guys will be the best parents!


Rebekah said...

moist eyes,
so true,

The Tremendous Thomas Family said...

what a wonderful expression of love and the beauty of motherhood! Thanks!

Tiffany said...

Yet again... you REALLY captured "it"--I found myself grinning, nodding, getting wistful, and a bunch o' other things (all positive!:-)) at your very apt (and timely-for-me!) post. *sigh* Thank you!!!

Rachel Ure said...

so great to read. I have hada lot of this stuff on my mind as my belly inflates- you just put it much more eloquently. thanks

Leah said...

Thanks Jen, what great thoughts on motherhood! I am so excited to experience it for myself. You are one of the great example to me of the kind of mother I hope to be. Love you!

beckyjune said...

You always know just how to say things, Jen. I always feel a little better after visiting your blog.

Yayi said...

Silly girl!! you made me cry!!! those were inspired words. Absolutely beautiful and true.
thanks for sharing that.

Susan said...

You are awesome Jen....I want to be you when I grow up : )

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