As the children were getting ready for bed tonight, I did the most stereotypical Mom thing and told them the story of their birth. (I was only going to tell them about the night before, but they were so into it that when those 6 big brown eyes implored me to keep going, I really had little choice.)
Seven years ago tonight I was laying in hospital bed in Atlanta full of anticipation--but completely ignorant as to how radically my life was about to change. I had spent the previous 8 weeks flat on my back with little else to do but consider the prospect of mothering the three little people growing in my womb--and yet nothing prepared me for the way my world was about to be rocked.
As I recounted the story of meeting each of them for the first time, I remembered how strange it was to look at those little two and three pound creatures and think THOSE are my CHILDREN. I loved them immediately, but I had no idea want it meant to mother them. It took some getting used to--to be so needed and to feel so needy. God has grown us!
Fast forward seven years... As I looked into those precious faces tonight and thought about all of the incredible lessons we have taught each other in the last seven years, my heart felt overjoyed.
K has taught me:
1. To look for joy in every circumstance (She smiles even when she is getting in trouble.)
2. That you truly can make something beautiful out of anything. (I have a dozen repurposed crafts all over my house at this moment to prove it.)
3. How to love people well--as wild and full of life as she is on the outside, she is kind-hearted and thoughtful on the inside.
R has taught me:
1. To choose my words carefully (as he is always listening to them completely literally and will remind me when I even remotely deviate from what I have said). He operates under the principle that a person's word is their word (period).
2. How to walk away from an argument without having to prove myself right. (He WON'T surrender--and it doesn't come easily for me either.) My boy has passion! I have memorized this phrase: "I love you too much to argue with you, son."
3. A little tenderness goes a long way. He is my most strong-willed child, but he is my most affectionate too. Tonight as I was tucking him in he wrapped his arm around my neck and started scratching the top part of my back. "It's the last back scratch you'll eva get fwom a 6 year old."
P's life has taught me:
To trust God. He was my smallest. He had surgery twice before he was three. I gave him CPR while waiting on an ambulance when he was only 8 weeks old. He's been hospitalized, had intimidating tests and scary diagnoses along the way. Yet, yesterday I watched him fly down the driveway on his bicycle--just like his brother & sister. Tonight I watched him finish a great baseball season with his peers and tomorrow he'll finish Kindergarten. He is a joyful, happy, well-adjusted kid. He marches to the beat of his own drummer always--but he certainly brings a great deal of joy as he does it. God is writing His story.
Watching my husband become such an amazing Daddy in the process has been an incredible blessing in and of itself. His devotion, his sacrifice, his patience with them (and me) truly leads me to respect and love him more deeply than before.
Marriage and motherhood have been holy grounds for serious sanctification in my life. I feel dumber, less competent, increasingly unorganized and far more worn out than I did seven years ago--but I have never felt this full of purpose and such love.
Thank you, God, for these gifts.