Friday, May 6, 2016

Embracing Motherhood : A Recollection from the Past

It is 1986, the kind of August morning that promises rain. At 6:30, I am tiptoeing through the kitchen like a burglar, carrying a basket brimming with dirty laundry. My two-month-old daughter sleeps peacefully in the other end of the house. Her early feeding done, I am determined to get a head-start on the day—something I haven't done since bringing her home from the hospital. Besides, it's been a week since I opened the clothes hamper; things are getting a bit smelly.

Being a mother is amazing. I love my child so fiercely it’s frightening. But there’s another side to motherhood. Until my daughter's birth, I never knew the true meaning of the word, "tired.” I never realized how little sleep you can actually exist on. The days creep into the nights, leaving me exhausted and wondering if I will even live to see her start to school.

With heavy hands, I load the washing machine, sneak into the kitchen, put on a pot of coffee. In the darkness, I sit waiting for the brew to finish. I am exhausted. The living room resembles a garage sale. It's been weeks since I looked at a newspaper, listened to the news, heard my favorite song. My world revolves around a plump little girl named Anna Marie who makes great smacking noises and smells of baby powder and cotton gowns, and, occasionally, something a lot less pleasant.

As I gulp down the last swallow of coffee, I have one wish: three hours of uninterrupted sleep. But just as I sit the cup on the table, Anna Marie announces herself with great gusto. I can’t believe she is awake again. Didn’t I just put her down?

I rush to her bed, scoop up my bellowing angel, change her soaking diaper, powder her little behind, kiss her rosy face, then settle into the rocking chair in the corner. Holding her close, I am awed by her beauty, by the way she slaps my chest with her tiny hand while gulping down her breakfast… or is it lunch already? She is perfectly content. All of her needs have been met.

Suddenly and without warning, I have thoughts that surprise me. After all, I'd waited and prayed for a baby for four years, but there they were, selfish thoughts. When am I going to have all of my needs met? When am I going to get a good night’s sleep? Or get the house cleaned? Or eat a decent meal, or even cook one?

I am appalled by my feelings, but then, as gentle as the summer rain splattering against the window, the thought comes to me: I am a mother. God trusted me enough to give me this notable title. It isn't about me anymore.

Slumped in the curve of a rocking chair, I suddenly see the beauty of myself. I was much more than an exhausted body in a baggy housecoat; I was the keeper of a child. This revelation soothes and refreshes me.

I look down into the face of my precious baby and from somewhere deep inside I feel a stirring, an intense longing to be the best mother, the best teacher, the best nurturer. Right then and there, wholeheartedly, I embrace this hallowed assignment called motherhood.


***

Happy Mother's Day!



13 comments:

  1. So lovely...
    Happy Mother's Day!!!

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  2. Absolutely beautiful. Happy Mother's Day.

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  3. Oh, this is a precious post! I loved every word. You are an amazingly gifted writer. I felt like I was right there! God bless you with a Happy Mother's Day!

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  4. sniffle, thank-you. You wrote a universal 'mother's heart'.

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  5. Beautiful! Praying that lots of new moms find this post. It is greatly encouraging.

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  6. Just beautiful. I love that title - "The Keeper of a Child." What a sacred mission, a blessed calling. But yes, you're right, it is a journey fraught with exhaustion, endless questioning of your abilities, angst and anxiety. And yet, there is such deep, inexpressible joy. I'm like you, Dayle, I love my sons so much it's almost frightening. Thankfully, I know that the Lord loves them more. I am still working on entrusting those boys to the Lord's hands!

    Grandchildren...don't get me started!!

    Happy Mother's Day.

    And GOD BLESS!

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  7. Beautiful, my dear sister. If only all mothers felt the same about their vitally important roles in life, how much stronger our nation would be.

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  8. Eloquently said, Dayle. I am sure your "bellowing angel" has given you untold oodles of love, all through the years. And now you have a new little granddaughter angel. Blessed woman you are. Blessed. Susan

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  9. Beautifully written. Perfectly said. The joys of motherhood like everything else comes with the messy, the tiredness, the not so pretty moments Yet I wouldn't trade being a Mom for anything. I know you wouldn't too. Happy Mother's Day, Dayle.

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  10. You took my heart and put into words and with Boohoo tears on my face.
    You have a wonderful Mother's Day, too!

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  11. Bravo! We've all had selfish thoughts. My son was one month old on my first Mother's Day and I remember thinking, "all I want is for my husband to take care of him for one full day and let me sleep!" - he did, and all was well again. Happy Mother's Day to you!

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  12. I was the keeper of a child. Beautiful post and so accurate too of new motherhood. Happy Mother's Day!

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  13. I can tell by your blog that motherhood embraces you in return.
    Anna Marie is a very lucky girl/lady.
    Happy Mother's Day Dayle.

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