Thursday, October 15, 2009

Things They Tell You, But ....

I have often read articles which make the statement that there are things no one tells you about a given situation. On the other hand, there are a lot of things that people do tell. The question then becomes, do people listen or, if they listen, do they believe what they hear. I cannot remember a time when I did not want to grow up and become a mother. Even as a child, I would spend a lot of time dressing all of my dolls in their little night clothes and putting them into their cradle. I did not, however, rush into it and was in my 30's by the time I was blessed with my two children. I wanted my children completely and so waiting for them to arrive was a time of joy. My mother knew that I was ecstatic so she did not have to tell me how I would feel as a mother but she implied that it would be wonderful. The pictures of my children's faces upon their arrival in this world are permanently etched upon my mind and heart. So, even though people told me that Iwould be happy and love motherhood, no one could have prepared me for the complete and utter surrender to the love of my son and daughter. I was smitten immediately and with that the need to protect and defend kicked in. I believe I really would have cut off my right arm had it been required to save them. There is no way that you can understand that kind of love until you experience it first hand. And, there is also no way anyone could have told me how tired I would be and for how long. Nightly feedings, childhood illnesses and good old-fashioned worry meant many a sleepless night. I remember my mom telling me that 'this too would pass.' She said that I should enjoy that time because it was the very short time when I could make everything better for my kids, kiss the hurt and make it better, snuggle with them and scare away the monsters. I didn't get it, I was just tired. Now I get it. The children got older, their problems and hurts got more complicated and I could not fix them. I could comfort them but I couldn't make the pain go away and this was cause for more sleepless nights and so much more pain for me than anyone other than a mother could understand. Then, one day they were grown and gone and the final thing that I didn't understand prior to that moment ... even if I had heard it from other mothers ... is how empty I would feel, how adrift from my purpose in life. But, I would not trade that journey for anything else ... not for a minute. I learned how to truly love, how to be truly selfless, and I learned that just when things seem unbelievable bleak, great joy is hiding right around the corner.

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