To my dear daughters and daughter-in-law, who are doing a priceless job of being mommies who love Jesus and train my grandchildren to love Him as well.
People say it will all be done in a flash, that the kids will be grown and out of the house in the blink of an eye.
Sure, uh-huh, you say.
I see your I-haven’t-slept-for-a-week dark circles.
But it’s true.
“How did you do it, Mom?” you asked recently. You stood in front of me, balancing my little man grandson on your hip. I smiled, one of those mother-to-daughter communications meant to convey empathy.
He slid down your side and ran off singing at the top of his lungs, “Fishers of men, fishers of men, fishers of men.”
You sighed. There may or may not have been some mashed carrots in your hair.
“No, I mean really, Mom, how did you do it?”
I pondered this. “What glue held it all together?” I wanted to give a recipe. I wanted to produce an “Ah-ha” moment of hope.
I wished I could say, “Add a pinch, mix, pour, and wonderful young adults pop out like cinnamon streusel muffins. ” If only.
“I had it first,” an angry little announcement came from the other room.
“She sat on me.”
She hurried into the fray where wails erupted like sirens.
There are so many things I wanted to say, so many things I could have from my vantage point of age and experience.
“Molding a life to be a well-rounded independent follower of Jesus is the highest possible calling,” I wanted to tell her.
She looked for practical things, for right then, get through the day kind of things. She saw the innumerable tasks around her and wanted to know how to efficiently cook, clean, discipline, nurture, all at the same time. But what she needed even more was a reminder of the value, worth and purpose of the daily doldrums, that her crazy piece of life was just a puzzle piece to a bigger picture.
I’d like to throw a few Scripture verses her way, like 1 Cor. 12:9 (NKJV) “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness,” “or maybe Prov. 22:6 (NKJV), “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
I had a feeling the timing wasn’t right. Still, I want her to know in the really big picture, Scripture had much more to do with getting through those years than any other parenting book.
I wished I could give her the golden wisdom of protecting her marriage, because the best gift a mother and father could give is the stability of a solid relationship.
I’d impress on her heart how much more important the spiritual is than the physical or material.
But, with the toys scattered, the dishes in the sink, and the noses blown, I figured I’d save the life lessons for another time.
“Remember,” I asked, “when your sister was in grade school and her teacher questioned her about what she wanted to be when she grew up? She answered, ‘I want to be a mommy?’”
Tears brimmed my daughter’s eyes, but the memory evoked a wane smile. She nodded. Her uncombed brown hair bobbed as she thought of the innocence of that day, of sister-hood, pacts and dreams.
“Remember what the teacher said?”
“She repeated her question.”
“And then, your sister said it again, ‘I want to be a mommy.’”
We grinned knowing the pluck of her sister in the second grade.
“But when the teacher asked, ‘what do you want to do that’s a real job, an important job?’” I continued the story, “a line was drawn in the sand.”
My daughter took it up from there, “She planted her face right in front of the teacher, put her hands on her hips and said, “‘Being a mommy is the most important job in the world.’”
I grabbed my grandson as he flew through the kitchen, and swung him up into my arms.
“And it is,” I said. “Sometimes we just need to be reminded.”
I squeezed. He wiggled and tried to get away, but I hugged tighter. Laughter rose from his belly. It filled the room. I looked over his head to my daughter. The awe of life, and the burden of care melded into the pure joy of the moment.
Don’t blink, dear mommies. There’s so much more than what you see, and you don’t want to miss a minute.
Happy Mother’s Day.