Every year about this time, lots of Memes, poems, stories and videos show up on FB all about mothers…which is, of course, appropriate, it’s Mother’s Day week. But, the truth is, I wouldn’t be a mother without my kids. SO, I wanted to say a little bit about my three children. I want to make it more about them…at least for today. Sunday is all mine!! But, today…
Katie is my oldest, my first, and the one who made me a mom in the first place. As a child she was shy and quiet, smart as a whip and thoughtful. Thoughtful in the way that she thought everything through before doing anything at all.
She didn’t choose an outfit for any occasion without thinking about what meals she might be eating during the day—some food stains look better on certain outfits than others.
She didn’t play with any toy until she first sat and thought about and planned out the imaginary scenarios she might be engaging in during play time. No need to waste time conjuring a “tea party” or “Mommy & Daddy in the kitchen” set-up if the tea pot couldn’t be found in the toy box or the dog had eaten the Cheetos she’d hidden under the bed from the day before.
And, she didn’t answer a question or make conversation without thinking her side of it out before speaking.
Sometimes, while running the dialog through her mind she’d begin to speak out loud, mid-sentence, not realizing the rest of the paragraph, the sentences that came before, was still safely dangling inside her head. You, as the listener, having no idea what was going on or where the conversation had started, would often be caught off guard. As you can imagine, I’m sure, it was infuriating in the beginning. But, we couldn’t get her to stop. So, by the time she was ten my husband and I had had to become pretty adept at jumping right in and following along.
“…so you can clearly see why I can’t ever be seen at Jenny’s house again.” She would start.
“Oh, sure. I understand,” I’d look up from my magazine, having no idea what the topic of conversation was, but more than ready to jump right in, “But, it looks like Daddy is still a little confused by the small details. Why don’t you start from the beginning and see if you can clear it up for him.”
She still does this today.
“…which means that if things don’t change right away, I could lose my job.”
The problem is, I’m older now than I was then and not quite as adept at steering her back to the conversation, as I used to be…
“Mother, have you heard a single word I’ve said?”
Jonathan is my middle child. He came into this world a month early and still weighing nearly nine pounds. In his incubator—next to the ones filled with teeny tiny 2 and 3 pound babies he looked like the infant version of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man (from the Ghostbuster movie), minus the sailor’s hat and tiny red scarf. He’d scowl and howl and shake his fat little fists and kick his fat little legs and the other children would mew in fear. The Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit nurses called him the “Tubby Terror”.
Today, he stands head and shoulders above his dad and I…literally. Every time he visits I end up with a crick in my neck from having to look up so far to talk to him. I’m thinking of investing in a step stool I can carry around with me when he’s here, so I can stand at eye level with him when we talk. But, I worry if I did that I’d fall off the stool and break my neck during those moments he has me cackling with laughter over something he’s said.
He’s one of those people who are always “on”. A comic without a mic. He finds something amusing in every situation and makes sure that those around him do too. I can put the blame solely at his feet for my need of adult diapers—should I ever have to have them that is. This is why he’ll be the one I live with when I’m old and need help changing. It’s only fair.
Baylie is my youngest. Like her brother she arrived a little early. Unlike her brother, who was none the worse for the wear, Baylie arrived on the planet sick and not entirely sure she wanted to stay.
About nine hours after her birth, as I lay sleeping in a (thankfully) drug-induced stupor, willfully and with-not-much-thought-beforehand she allowed her little lungs to collapse under the pressure of the congenital pneumonia she was born with. The N.I.C.U doctor on call, an East Indian man with a lovely accent, woke me by phone to tell me (three different times) that she was in trouble and would not make it through the night. He suggested I hurry down-stairs to the N.I.C.U. to say my goodbyes.
I thanked him very kindly and hung up the phone. After a quick little cat nap, no more than five minutes long, I called her father and delivered the news. He burst into tears, hung up the phone and headed straight out the door to join me at the hospital. I went back to sleep.
I know what you’re thinking. I must be a horrible mother! I would agree except, I really don’t think that’s the case. In my own defense, I was drugged. But, it was more than that… I had—and still have—a very deep and personal relationship with Jesus. I knew, down deep in my heart, that he wasn’t ready to take her back just yet. He’d just gifted her to me! I had no fear. I had no sorrow. I had no idea just how bad it really was… and again, I was drugged.
I look back on it all now and shudder. I can’t decide if I was really that steadfast in my faith in Jesus to save her little life or if I was just that hopped-up on pain meds and sleeping agents.
I’m sure it was a little bit of both. Either way, we were blessed.
Today, Baylie is a young wife and mother to two VERY active boys. She’s healthy and strong and more beautiful than I could ever describe.
Because of all three of my kids—and all of their kids—I can’t imagine being anything but a mother. I’m grateful to God for them all. I sometimes feel that I should be giving them gifts on Mother’s day…and then, I open up a box of chocolates and think… NAH!