I've learned something very valuable in all my years. Yes, I do mean all twenty-one of them. This particular lesson I've only learned within the last two to three years; but, I assure you, it's a lesson shared with millions of other brave females out there. What is this lesson? Oh you know the one, it is the lesson of selflessness; obtained only after embarking upon this insanely beautiful roller coaster called: motherhood.
I should start out by saying how much I love being a mother. Understand that I am quite wise enough to know that being the mother of a 17 month-old is merely the beginning, and yes, I do realize I don't even know the half of it. However, I began this life-long journey of mine at the very tender, very naive age of nineteen. Was I mentally unstable? Probably. Was I intoxicated? Actually, no. Did I have any idea what those spontaneous, carefree nights of adolescent immaturity would produce? Oh no. But, believe me; I quickly began to realize in the months that followed- pregnancy was not for the faint-hearted, nor for the sane.
Yet, it was only at this point when I began to catch a tiny glimpse of what my mother endured for my sake. My dear God, I thought to myself, "Did she seriously go through this hell to bring me in this world?" It was then I began to realize, as I am continuing to; that every day, with each new stage my son goes through, I am being given the gift of viewing my mother in this new, awe-inspiring light. And then at these moments the words that so many, including my own parents have spoken echo through my head, "You'll only understand when you have a child of your own."
But it is also at these moments of reflection, I fight back the tears that inevitably spill from my eyes as I begin to truly see the things I have put my mother through. All of the emotions she must have felt, to have to sit back and painfully watch me make my own mistakes. To be forced to sit, in a front row seat, and see me fall so hard and not be able to do a thing about it; except for love me, and perhaps cry out from the pain in her heart, caused by my careless actions.
The thought that I someday must endure this inexplicable pain, makes my heart catch in my throat. Oh, the things I've put my parents through. Unaware, because I wasn't yet a mother myself, that everything I did, deeply affected the individuals who God, Himself allowed to assist in the process of my creation. That fact is so powerful, it makes me take a step back, convicting me to the core.
However, I am tired of brushing the tears from my face, so I will continue to a more humorous aspect of parenting. I will say that motherhood has brought every single unexpected instance along with it. I mean come on; did you ever think you could be so completely determined on getting that crusty booger from your kid's nose? And you just knew that you couldn't rest until you dug that sucker out? A year and a half ago, I would have responded with complete disgust. But, low and behold, here I am today. So, I say to parents, that you should unashamedly, dig on.
I've never been a sprinter, let's just say I tried distance running in track once in high school and ended up breaking my pelvis. Just the other day however, on Easter Sunday, my husband and I both competed for the hundred yard dash and we tied. You see, after my son began finding several Easter eggs by himself and successfully put them into his basket, we decided we'd let him toddle about, innocently enjoying being outside, and high on sugar. Well, several moments went by when we both spotted him. Gasping and taking off simultaneously, my husband and I raced toward my son, who was ever so slowly reaching his chubby arm towards a large fire-ant pile (we're not yet sure if he's allergic). The race ended in a collision between my husband and I, and the Easter basket.
Fortunately, my son was successfully pulled away from the source of danger and the only calamity being that the eggs were knocked in every direction. Everything was okay, but guess what? I felt as if I had the high blood pressure of someone well beyond my years. My adrenaline was through the roof! It all took place in less than thirty seconds; and I never knew I could sprint, but I am seriously considering taking up jogging again, because hey, I know I still have it in me. I'll just have to be careful my pelvis still does.
Motherhood has thus far been filled with more adventure and suspense than any action film I can recall. Having my son changed not only me, but my entire life.... forever. I now have the utmost respect for my mother and all mothers; we have the most underpaid, overworked, and under-appreciated job duty in the world; It is however, the most rewarding, and I know the majority of us moms wouldn't quit for all the amount of money that could be offered.
Yet, this is my tribute, my salute to all mothers. No matter how many thank you(s) that might not be received this month, nor the amount of freshly folded laundry callously tossed to the side, and no matter the amount of cheerios purposely thrown on the newly swept floor; moms you are doing a beautiful job. You are appreciated. You are loved. And you are recognized, even if it's by no one else but me on this day. None of these gems masquerading as words need to be kept under lock and key until a Mother's Day, although, many times that is the case. Husbands and children take note: A little gratitude each day goes further than you'll ever imagine; it is truly priceless.
Mothers, you must not despair, for you are hands down, the unsung heroes in just about every story that's been written. And to my mom: you have been my inspiration for this article. I love and cherish you, and since I too have begun to embark upon motherhood, I appreciate you and what you have done for me now, more than ever. Thank you mom, although I know I can never thank you enough.