Thursday, April 07, 2011

Are You My Mother?

Amanda was five, Jordyn was a newborn.  Me?  I was at my wits end.  

In obedience to what The Lord had called me to do, I had just quit a promising career to be a stay at home mommy.  I can remember thinking that unlike the song, mama NEVER told me there would be days like these.  On that particular day 19 years ago, nothing had been accomplished and a shower and make-up was only in my dreams for that day. 

My first born is the typical strong willed child.  At that season in her life she thought “mommy” knew everything, so she tried to ask me everything (as opposed to the teen years when they think mom knows nothing).  Every question that came to her mind she would ask, and each question always started with “Hey mom.."

I had about hit the wall and after hearing “hey mom” umpteen million times that morning, I turned to her in a frazzled state and loudly declared:

“My name is NOT mom!!”

Amanda:  “Yes it is!”

Me:  (in my best ‘I-can-act-five-years-old-too’ tone) I hollered:  “No it’s NOT!”

Amanda: (laughing hysterically at her mom…which made mom even more frazzled) managed to ask through the laughing:  “Hey mom, what’s your name?”

Me: (in tears at this point) “My name is not mom…my name is…um…my name is JOE! I’m Joe.”

Amanda, never missing a beat, pushed her glasses up on her nose, tilted her head in amazement and said very confidently, 

“Well, okay…..Joe, I want some more juice.  Thanks Joe!”   and she skipped off to her room.  You guessed it, for the remainder of the day (and weeks to follow) she started all her questions with “Hey Joe…”

As you can see, I survived that day and many more frazzled mommy days that  followed.  (Speaking of frazzled stories, have any of you moms ever initiated a game of hide and seek with the kids just so you could hide and have a few minutes alone?  Yep!  Me too!!)

All this reminiscing brings me to share this ad that I recently saw in a  local magazine:

The ad was not for a local gym but for a plastic surgeon. Really???  Wow. 

I have threatened to change my name but never my body as a result of being a mom.  Let me be honest and say that of course my body has changed as a result of being a mom, but it has also changed as a result of eating ice cream every night. I am certainly not going to blame either for the changes. 

Like every woman I know, there are things that I dislike about my structure. Yet underneath it all I realize and understand that this body reflects a seal of proof to motherhood:

I embrace my silvery stretch marks as a badge of honor that represent life. Two lives to be exact. The two that I carried in my womb. 
I laugh at the sagging skin (that goes lower with every passing year). What now sags was ever faithful night after night as I rocked and nursed my baby.     
My aching hip reminds me of the times I carried my chubby little toddlers on my hip because they were "too tired" to walk. 
The wrinkles and grey hairs remind me I have raised two teenagers (I’m half joking…if you don’t have a teenager yet then you will understand this one day) and how many times I have laughed with them and cried with them. 
These cracking knees remind me of the many afternoons running behind a bike as the girls were weened off their training wheels.

My waning eyesight takes me back to memories of reading books hour upon hour with them (of course, we enjoyed our fair share of Dr. Seuss and Bernstein Bears books).

Amanda sent me this picture today of Jaelynn reading one of our family favorites,  "Are you My Mother?"

My forgetful mind is full of mommy memories: 

Kool-aid kisses, all night prayer spent with a sick child, hours upon hours of Barney videos, dust bunnies that grew to enormous sizes while we spent time outside swinging, innumerable quantities of popsicles we devoured every summer, Spaghetti-O's stained clothes (theirs, not mine), lemonade stands, bubble blowing, bike rides, dress-up, skinned knees, tea parties…….

I’m thankful for what I see in the mirror.  While some may see their after baby body as disgusting and needing repair by a surgeon’s hand, I see it as a beautiful thing. A beautiful reminder. The beautiful imperfections that represent the many years of joy, happiness, frazzled-ness (is that a word?), bewilderment, tears and laughter that only a mom can know. 

I am thankful to My Lord for the privilege He gave me when He entrusted these children to me to raise in His ways, and for His glory. Through the years I have constantly remind myself that my girls do not belong to me. They are His and He loaned them to me. Thank you, Jesus, for the honor.  

In bringing up children, spend on them half as much money and twice as much time. 
 ~Author Unknown

I am linking up with Company Girls for our weekly blog party!!  We'd love for you to join us.

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One More Equals Four said...

SO well said! I am living through my first teenager definitely earned your gray!

I dread the thought, frankly, of the three following behind, but my parents keep promising that they are glad they let me live, so I am holding out hope that there WILL be laughing intermixed with all the tears! :)

Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

A lovely post. Motherhood is something else, isn't it? I wouldn't trade it for anything. I like the quote at the end.

No new signs learned this week, but Emily keeps signing "clean up, clean up". =p

Enjoy your weekend!

Lea also known as "CiCi" said...

Oh, Becky, what a precious entry! You are a great writer and it's always a joy to stop by.

As to me doing a tutorial on how to decorate, well, well, well! I don't do doors and neither did my neighbor. She hired a local florist to do that for her. I do fairly well with decor inside my home, but certainly do not think of myself as a professional. I just look through books and magazines and get ideas and then add my own flair. :o)

Would love to have a cup of coffee with you one day! I bet we'd have so much fun!

Kathleen T. Jaeger said...

What a wonderful reminder of the tribute to motherhood.


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