Taking children anywhere presents its obvious challenges especially when I am largely pregnant. I am often motivated by what we will see together and how I will be grateful for that time together. I do mentally prepare myself for outings expecting lots of fits, several bathroom trips, ungrateful moments when I seem to be working so hard for them to have fun. The rewards always trump the difficulties. I love watching their faces watch things. I love watching their hands look at things and my very favorite is when they find something and can't wait to show me. I often see them mouth, "Mama" and then look around to find me to show me their new discovery.
He thought it looked like it was from the Lord of the Rings.
Both John and I are acutely aware of our short time with them. I recently had a conversation with a friend about the daily motherings. She confided that she usually wakes up with a sense of dread for each day. I tried to reassure her how normal her feelings were and of course, I too, even though I love my time with them feel that heavy weight most mornings. The loneliness, the monotony, the decisions, the indecisions all present so many challenges each day. I am able to see beyond that and have the foresight to know what I want 80 years from now. With that, I am motivated to do the daily requirements. I read yesterday that most of us have the WILL to win, but few of us have the WILL to PREPARE to win. Each day, we stand at our post preparing ultimately for heaven. I am largely motivated by the time and effort we put into their spiritual formation and the forming of their consciences that take daily preparation and attention.
I want to have raised my own children. I want to have been the one that was there day after day answering all of life's questions big and small. I want to be the one they see each day and hope they find security that mom is at her post waiting to help them, laugh with them, pray for them. I want to be the one who lays Damaris down each day for her nap and then comes to get her every afternoon. I want to be the one who takes them for a walk after lunch to stroll through the neighborhoods before nap time. I want to be the one who shows them about mothering and being a wife. I hope to show them all of life's beauties each day be it an incredible museum, a beautiful sunset, how to cook an marvelous dinner to surprise John, how to pray, how to apologize and admit when I was wrong and to be the one who sits by their side when they aren't feeling well on the couch. John and I often comment how well our own mothers took care of us when we were sick. I want to show them how to use the phone or answer the door. I was dropping Lillie off at an event and I watched her hold the door for a handicap child walking in with his walker. I want to be the one who sees those things so I can tell her how very proud I am of her. I love picking them up from events and arriving early just so I can watch them mingle with their friends only to delight at seeing that I've pulled up and hear, "Hi MOM!!!"
I have made myself sit through seemingly mundane events because I want to be there and experience life with them at its fullest. I know I will be glad we took the time. My mom said it perfectly yesterday, "You daily put their needs above your own. What a beautiful gift you've given to them."