While walking one day, my friend encountered someone who had lost control of herself. A mother, shouting and ranting. Her small child stood nearby. My friend felt horrid. She hurt for the young one absorbing her mother’s outburst.
Every mother fails sometimes. I certainly have. Perhaps something devastating had momentarily destroyed that woman’s composure. Perhaps when they got home, she felt remorse. Perhaps she asked both God and her child to forgive her bad example. Perhaps just seeing herself through others’ eyes began straightening something bent in her; caused her to seek help.
With God and prayer, all that can happen. Has happened.
We’ll never know, but I hope for that. And I pray that far down the years, when—if—that child becomes a mother herself, she will have more good things than bad to remember about her own mother; examples to strengthen her own parenting. As I do, and perhaps you too.
I accompanied my daughter Amanda to a funeral one day. She’d been asked to play the piano and needed me to watch her baby. Grabbing the opportunity for a little one-on-one Nana time, I waited in a consulting room and held that child the entire time. She wailed at first, then fell asleep in my arms. As I have with all my grandbabies, I spoke to God a long time about that little bean.
With Dinah asleep, I could hear the funeral over the intercom. The woman who died wasn’t anyone important, or so most would say. Her family knew her as someone who lived for her children, who’d enjoyed working with her hands, cooking and knitting, crocheting and sitting in the sun. A woman who loved others, who others loved back. To all those people, she was important.
I looked at the baby in my arms and thought of her future. Of school and career and the societal pressure we all face to place our best selves “out there”, often to the neglect of God and home and family. I wondered if she’d enjoy the privilege of becoming a mother. If she’d like cooking or decorating and gardening. If she’d learn to knit or crochet. If she’d take time to just sit in the sun. I wondered who she’d be important to, and who she would find important.
We may not believe it some days (especially on our bad ones) but we mothers are important people, incredibly beloved of God.
On the days we blow a gasket, or mend a wall, we are important.
On the days we say “I’m sorry,” we are very important.
On the days we pray for (and God supplies) patience not to off our offspring or spew out our spouse, we are extra important.
And on our worst days, we are still important.
Happy Mother’s Day to my fellow mothers. May God supply courage for the difficult days, and hope for the dark ones.
“The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.” Proverbs 14:1