I never thought I would be a mother. I watched my own troubled mother struggle through her life. She died when I was 19. My dad had died the year before.
Hers was not an easy life. She struggled with depression and numerous health issues. As the youngest of eight kids, I saw her fatigue and life disappointment in clear focus. Her regular suicide threats collided with my adolescent angst. It was not pretty or normal.
I did not want what she had. My generation of liberated women was meant for greater things.
And so we trained for careers and a bigger life. Children would only serve to encumber.
At 30, my biological clock ticked louder. What would I do with these elemental urges?
Finally in a good marriage, I declared to the universe, “Bring it on!” only to experience the ultimate irony of infertility.
And so we adopted. With the pressure off we conceived quickly, then adopted twice more.
With a home filled to the brim with surprises, how does a motherless mother learn to mother?
I read books. I went to MOPS groups. I studied other mothers in church. I begged other mothers at the park to engage in adult conversation with me about parenting.
Ultimately, my model and my mentor was the Lord, tenderly drawing me to Himself, filling my emptiness, enlightening my ignorance, finding me in my lost-ness.
With constant prayer, trial and error – mostly error – I found my Mothering Mojo. It suited me to love and nurture. Through the exhaustion, my character was shaped and my heart was enlarged. By learning to give what I had missed, I learned to love.
And so on Mother’s Day, I want to express my thanks and thanksgiving to my children. Yes, I’ve changed the diapers and cleaned up the messes, but the unexpected surprise and blessing of my life has been the privilege of raising you. I have done NOTHING for you. You all have captivated my mind and my heart and allowed me to experience such great joy – joy that I nearly missed.
From my heart to yours, a THANK YOU to Clare, Caitlin, Grace, Daniel and g-baby Jesse.