Thursday, September 1, 2011

The miracle

Every mother has vivid memories of the moment when her newborn child was placed in her arms for the first time. Every mother can recall the overwhelming rush of emotions - the wonder, the exhilaration, the all-encompassing love - that engulfed her as she held her babe to her breast, felt the warmth of the little fragile body, examined the tiny fingers and toes - G-d's perfect creation.

But such a peak of emotion does not and cannot last. Soon, our life is settled into a routine, and those of us who are mothers to babies and toddlers know that this routine includes nursing, diaper changes, a vast deal of laundry, mashing up bananas, breaking up fights, messy play, sand from the sandbox all over the house, sticky finger marks on the recently cleaned windows, bath time turned into a water fight, and many other, sometimes endearing and sometimes frustrating, marks of our precious little ones' early years. 

There is a lot of fun along the way, but sometimes we feel exhausted, overwhelmed, or too busy, too caught up in the daily grind to perceive much beauty around us. Sometimes we aren't even sure what it is, exactly, that we are doing. Especially if you are the only one in your surroundings to keep your toddler at home with you, sometimes you end up wondering whether you are wrong to be doing differently, whether the common, easy and neat way to dispose of children throughout the day isn't better. In particular when you have no extraordinary achievments to boast of, nothing evident at which you could point and say, "see, it is obvious that my child is doing better than other children, and that's why she is better off being at home with me."

It is understandable to be discouraged sometimes when there is no immediate reward for what we are doing, when the investment we put in will sometimes take decades to show results. 

But last night, as I put my children to bed, one look at my soon-to-be-3-year-old brought back that rush of love and gratitude, of excitement and devotion, that I felt back when she was put in my arms, in the very first moments of her becoming part of this world. "I have a daughter!" I cried, "It is a miracle!"

I may not be a perfect mother; no, I will never be a perfect mother, but I am the only mother these children will ever have. No kindness or affection of other people can replace or overshadow the importance of a mother in the child's life, and so my job is to take step after step, day after day, growing in gentleness and gratitude, and being always there for my children, physically as well as spiritually. 

As their little personalities are in a large proportion influenced and changed by my attitude, so I am challenged and changed by their presence in my life, and so we all are guided, molded and shaped by the kind and wonderful G-d who placed us all together on this journey. 

And this is our own private miracle. 


Leiani said...

All mothers should take such moments to cherish their little miracles. A beautifully written reminder.

Anonymous said...

I often quoted Proverbs 18:21 to my son during his early years. We were financially "poor" because I stayed home to raise him, but we lacked nothing and gained everything!

Used clothing, toys, and household necessities rather than new or brand-name items were staples in our home. Was it easy? No! Would I do it over again? Absolutely, in a New York minute!

As I enthusiastically applaud your dedication to being fully your children's mother, I picture G-d smiling in happy agreement. May HaShem bless, strengthen, and encourage you, I pray!

Rachel said...

Love the part about not having any extraordinary achievements to boast children seem quite normal, not behind not particularly ahead of other children their age, so I can't seem to say there's any great educational benefit to them being at home compared to other children that go to daycare.

However, my 3-year-old is not in the least shy, and will run up and tell her full name and age to any random stranger in the vicinity, so I can at least say she doesn't seem too introverted as a result of not being properly "socialized" through public daycare =)

Leah Brand-Burks said...

8*) <---That's me, with tears down my face, because of this beautiful reminder of what miracles I shepherd every day. Thank you, Anna.

Rose said...

Those conscious moments come unbidden but they are very precious.

Heather said...

What a lovely, inspiring reflection! I needed this reminder today. Thank you for sharing this!

Anonymous said...

Ahh, what a precious moment.

I really love your blog and perspective, your love for all things home and family and I am encouraged that there is another young mother who is serving her husband and children in her home.

Thanks for your always very thoughtful posts. I am blessed by them!

Jordan Carlson

Angela said...

Your post hit me like a ton of bricks.

Over the course of the summer, my 9-year old daughter was diagnosed with Asperger Disorder (on the autism spectrum). My 7-year old son had to be hospitalized before he harmed himself or others. He was diagnosed with a mood disorder with manic behaviors and PDD (on the autism spectrum).

I've spent a good deal of time mourning and wondering what life is going to be like for all of us.

I am and always will be their mother, no matter what happens. The three of us were given to each other on purpose and as blessings.

Mary said...

I was blessed to be able to be a stay at home Mom during all of the years that we were raising our 6 children. Sometimes I watched other children in our home or did a little part time work when things were tight financially but mostly I was there at home.

When my oldest daughter was married and was 25 years old, she called me on the phone just to thank me for "always being home with us, Mom".

She was seeing other young married women who had Moms who had worked full time and the young married women had never been taught the basics of homemaking. They didn't know how to grocery shop economically, cook low cost nourishing meals, keep their homes clean and neat and save money by sewing,gardening and thrift store shopping etc.

They would watch my daughter with amazement and ask "How do you know how to do these things ?" I was certainly not any super-Mom since I had never been taught these things, myself, but I had made up my mind that I would teach my children the skills they needed to become competent adults. I needed to be there in order to teach them how to become independent adults. I am so thankful that I had the privilege, not the sacrifice - as so many women say today, to be able to be home with my family. said...

Beautifully said. With my first one due in 3 months, I can't wait for these moments.