Thoughts on Motherhood
A friend of mine overheard her daughter and my daughter talking one afternoon, saying what each of their moms were good at. My friend’s daughter said her mom was good at crafts, scrapbooking, cute hair styles, and picking out clothes. My daughter said her mom was good at “packing things into small spaces” (which turns out to mean backpacking and camping), identifying birds, and general outdoorsy stuff. So I told my friend, “Great! Between the two of us we’re the perfect mom!” Except maybe for cooking. Apparently neither of us shine in that area.
My friend and I are very different in our gifts and interests, so each of our daughters are having a very different experience of “Mom.” In some ways, it’s almost like a marriage vow: for better or worse, in sickness and health, tired or well-rested, crafty or not-crafty, good cook or mediocre, my kids have me for their mom. They won’t get everything, but they’ll get me. And I think that is truly what they need: a connection with another person who loves them for who they are, for who God made them to be. God’s own nature is relational: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. And so it is no surprise that some of our most basic needs are relational also: to be truly known, to be loved, to be accepted, flaws and all.
My favorite Mother’s Day present is a variation of this: breakfast in bed made up of soggy cereal, either burnt or barely toasted toast with globs of butter, and something random like dried cranberries or popcorn. I don’t see the food by itself: I see the love that made it and the relationship that has grown, and is growing, between two kids and their Mom.