Monday, April 11, 2011

The Fleeting Years Of Motherhood

I am the mother of seven children all born roughly two years apart. I have enjoyed a succession of babies one after another for the past 18 years. As one child moved onto to toddlerhood a new, precious, baby filled my arms and my heart.

With so many children I have not always enjoyed motherhood. It can be so stressful. I recall once, while I tried to corral my herd through a checkout line, an elder woman stood gazing at my family. I was stressed and quite surprised when she said to me, "I would trade you in a heartbeat." My response was, "You mean you would go back to this torture!?!?" She was emphatic that, yes, she would go back. I thought to myself, "WHY? Those are the years to do all the things that you couldn't do when you were so busy raising kids."

Then our eldest child turned 17 last year. She rebelled, decided to get engaged and move out. She didn't speak to us for a few weeks because we had gotten angry and were not supportive of her decisions. We were gut wrenched. I missed her terribly, beyond words.

It hit me like a brick wall that even though the kids drove me nuts regularly, I wasn't prepared for them to grow up. What a dichotomy. I remembered my daughter when she was just a baby and I had held her for hours caressing her and cooing at her and now she was gone.

Because a new baby had always come I never had a chance to yearn for another wee one. Now our youngest is three and although we are mentally, physically, and financially done having babies, I am saddened by the thought of no more babies.

They have brought me so much joy these past 18 years. I can't believe how fast the time has gone by. Now, I am already finding myself wanting to trade the season that I am in with some young mother.

This photo of a migrant farmworker holding her baby epitomizes for me the wonderful bond that a mother shares with her child. The deep, soulful love that emanates between them is God-given love. I am so glad to have experienced this so many times. Thank you God, for blessing me so abundantly! I treasure those memories and feelings.

These are the lyrics of a song that I made up to sing to my babes.

Sweet, sweet, baby of mine
Hush precious baby
There's no need to whine
You're precious, so precious
Such a precious gift from God above
Given for me and your sweet daddy to love

Baby, my baby
You are God's miracle, Life's pinnacle
Baby, my baby

You're precious,
so much more precious
Than a soft sea breeze
Autumn leaves leaves on the trees,
A waterfall,
A birds love call
A horse on the run or a setting sun

Baby, my baby
You're precious
So precious, Baby

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