How in the Sam Hill did I get to be a mom?
I know. Deep thoughts for an early Tuesday morning. But with a pot of coffee in my system, along with a hearty breakfast consisting of a Nutrisystem breakfast bar, I feel well equipped to chase this rabbit! So here we go.
I don't know if early on I would have been considered the mothering type. I had an extremely active, creative imagination. Extremely active. When I wasn't convincing myself and everyone else that I was dying from a rare disease, I was playing dolls. Sometimes my dolls were dying from a rare disease, too. I played dolls until I was in my early teens. I know. Weird. My older sister thought so, too.
Anyway I didn't play dolls in a traditional way. I didn't swaddle my baby dolls in blankets and feed them with those play bottles that had the pretend milk in them. I didn't play with baby dolls that could really burp and really wet their diapers. I didn't take them for walks in doll strollers or rock them to sleep. No. I played with Barbie dolls. But I didn't play with them in a traditional way. I just talked to them. Actually I talked AS them. I became them. Odd, as I think back on it. Therapy anyone?
I created careers for them. They lived in exotic places, had fabulous boyfriends and were very popular.
I lived in Denver City, Texas, rarely had a boyfriend and wasn't all that popular. I had acne. But in my imagined world, I was "all that" and a chocolate shake--with glowing skin.
When I was pretending, though, I don't ever remember pretending I was a mother.
In early high school, one of my best friends and I decided to save our lunch money so that we could one day move to NYC and become stars on Broadway. Thoughts of mothering weren't in that dream. The dream never panned out, anyway. Our resolve always crumbled when it came to burritos and Fresca.
But just as well, as a boy entered stage left.
We fell madly in love. We got an education together. We got married. We bought a Volkswagon Jetta. We bought a house. And then we made a baby. And then another. And then another.
For a girl who had never given much thought to being a mother, that in itself is pretty amazing.
It expanded me. Both literally ( I still carry baby weight-see above reference to Nutrisystem) and figuratively. It made me a better person. They made me a better person. Everyday they make me a better person just by watching how they live their lives.
They've taught me there is little value in material possessions.
They've taught me to look and see need, and to hurt for that need as if it were my own.
They've taught me that a single peanut butter sandwich given to someone hungry means something.
They've taught me that dreaming and praying big is way underestimated.
They've taught me compassion.
They've taught me there is much joy to be had in this very moment.
They've taught me not to hurry so much. There's time.
They've taught me that if I go two, maybe three, days without washing my hair, the world won't end.
They've introduced me to beautiful music.
They've taken me on trips to faraway places by sitting with me for hours and telling me stories of their adventures.
They've taught me to let go. To wait. To be patient.
They've encouraged my creativity.
They've taught me that on any given Sunday, if I must choose between going to church or being the church, I should always choose the latter.
They've modeled "not judging" for me.
They've helped me get through when the shoe is on the other foot.
And best of all, they've taught me the most pure, raw and unchecked way to love.
So back to my original question.
How did I get to be a mom?
Certainly there must have been more to it than merely the fact that I was born without a sense of smell, and could therefore handle dirty diapers, vomit, and nasty gym shoes quite easily.
Surely there were girls way more qualified than I. Girls that were better groomed for the job after having played with real baby dolls in a motherly way. Girls that didn't throw out an expletive here and there when overwhelmed with the moment. Girls who could quote more scripture from memory. Girls who really loved to bake chocolate chip cookies and wear aprons. Girls who would grow up to be award-winning scrapbookers. Girls who wouldn't one day take great pleasure in putting a dead scorpion on a son's shoulder and then say, "Jake, don't panic! But there's a scorpion on your shoulder". I mean, who would do that and think it was funny? Clearly that person should not even consider procreating.
Surely others were more qualified.
So I've chased the rabbit and this is what I have come up with.
I got to be a mother only because somewhere in God's infinite grace he looked right through all these inadequacies and he blessed me anyway. I believe he looked at me and thought "this will make her better". And it did. Beyond that, there is no other explanation. None. Zero, zilch, nada.
So let me take this moment to raise a glass--actually a coffee cup--to three of the most wonderful humans walking this planet. So happy to know you. You've taught me everything that really matters. This and most every other happy day is/was brought to me by you three.