Monday, May 9, 2011

Motherhood


Dirty fingernails, grass-stained knees, dried boogies left in all the wrong places. Peanut butter and jelly residue encircling mouths full of teeth that haven't been brushed today, that one spot of hair that seems to always stick in the opposite direction of the others, rosy cheeks and scents of sweat engulfing the senses with each swift kiss as they bounce in from playing. This is motherhood.
Squishing spiders that scurry across the floor, showing intense bravery by letting a caterpillar crawl all the way up your arm, teaching how to catch a lizard with its tail still intact, and carrying clear plastic cups to the retention areas to help fish for tadpoles. Holding your breath when they climb too high in the tree, swinging them until your arm is so sore, and being armed with antibacterial cream, a character band-aid, and a warm hug when they fall. This is motherhood.
Scooting over to allow a little more room for the middle of the night bed guest, reading the same story for the gazillionth time, allowing play-doh when you secretly hate it so very much, and velcroing the backs of princess dresses and superman costumes. Making green eggs and ham, buying copious amounts of Capri-Suns, calling salmon patties "Crabby Patties" and watching every single one of them suddenly gobble them up and ask for more. This is motherhood.Toting folding chairs to soccer games, paying monthly ballet dues, making last minute runs to the store for snack day at school. Listening to the mono-toned struggle of a child learning to read, making math fact flash cards, filling the calendar until the white spaces are few and far between. This is motherhood.Joining in on a water gun fight, sacrificing the lawn for blow-up pools and slip-n-slides, letting them win every once in a while during the race to the mailbox. After dinner walks to the park, making sure that there is plenty of bug spray and sunscreen, trying so hard not to nag about the shoes and socks that end up everywhere besides where they need to go. This is motherhood.
Laughing at their awful knock-knock jokes, being amazed when they actually start to understand real humor and perform perfectly, smiling inside and out when friends call their name from across the room at different functions. Holding them close as they sob into your chest during the sad parts of the movie, teaching them how to overcome the hard times of friendships, and showing them how to love others, even when it's hard to do so. This is motherhood.Administering several meds throughout the day, making sure there are enough supplies to last the week, spending countless hours on the phone managing care. Rocking them when they don't feel good, singing songs while slowly stroking the hair away from their faces, wrapping your arms around their small bodies and trying desperately to memorize that feeling right then. Praying and crying and worrying and fretting and praying and praying and praying. This is motherhood.
It is a role that will be ever changing as the children grow older, yet the root will always lie in the love and duty God has instilled in us to care for His children while they are on this earth. It is a heavy load, yet also one of the most rewarding at times. And although there are moments in the young years of our children when we want to hide and pretend not to hear the name "Mama" called out for the 68th time that day, we must remember that their voices will not be heard as much as they grow through those tough adolescent years...and then one day, before we can even blink, we will walk into an empty room that once inhabited those precious giggles and requests for one more drink of water or an extra kiss before bedtime and want so badly to be able to return that request once again.
These years will be over in the blink of an eye.

This is motherhood.

13 comments:

Doris said...

Love the pic of Nathan sitcking out his tongue. He is such a boy!

Tammy said...

Amber,
Your post brought tears to my eyes, as your writings so often do. But you are right about these years fleeting by before you knew where they went. I could tear up easily when my kids were little, thinking of the days when they would leave one by one, and that time for me is here, as one in four is all that remains. Now we have pictures and memories of our house full of kids and I regret the times I wished out of frustration they would grow up. You are so wise to have kept such a marvelous account of your lives. A more valuable treasure hardly exists. You all are ever in my prayers.

Your Okie cousin

Ang on May 9, 2011 at 10:04 PM said...

You are incredibly talented in both the way you put words together and more importantly relaying genuine emotion behind them. I am often in awe and drawn in by your posts. Thank you for sharing them!

Susie Ladd on May 9, 2011 at 10:16 PM said...

You captured it all! Wonderful post that touched on so many familiar feelings.

Momo

Dianne on May 10, 2011 at 5:47 AM said...

You are one of the most amazing Mamas, Amber. I so admire the full plate that you seem to manage so effortlessly, with abounding humor, and with "praying and praying and praying". I birthed and raised four children. Three sons and one daughter. I've endured those quiet rooms and the laughter that is so stilled. I've come full circle 'cause, once again, I have LIFE to the nth degree, I have laughter, I have sandy hair and dirty little bodies. My GRANDchildren have come! I cried thru your sweet post. Love you. One Mama to another. Pray for you all.

Anonymous said...

I love it! It is exactly how I feel about Motherhood!
Nina

Heidi on May 10, 2011 at 1:02 PM said...

Wonderful, just wonderful!

Julia said...

All mothers, old and young, can relate to your writings. We have all felt those familiar tuggings on our heartstrings that you describe, and the wonderful joy those experiences gave to each of us. Our personal trials might be somewhat different in content, but the feelings of helplessness felt when bad times come and we cannot fix all of their hurts bring us all to common ground as mothers and grandmothers. Somehow, I think dads are included in this, as they, too, feel so helpless at times. They think they must be the hero and be strong, but sometimes they are the best hero when they shed a tear and bend down to help a child. Children never forget the kindness shown to them by their loved ones. How special a bond that is, and one God gave us as part of the special blessings of life. Keep writing and keeping our hearts tender, Amber. You have a real gift with words.

Love, Julia

Kyla on May 11, 2011 at 8:22 AM said...

I loved this! That B&W is great (all of your photos are wonderful, but something about the character you captured in that one was especially appealing!). You have a beautiful family!!

Jenna on May 11, 2011 at 10:15 PM said...

Hi Super Hero Nathan!
My name is Jenna and I came across your site. u are a brave courageous fighter, and a real inspirational hero. I was born with a rare life threatening disease.
www.miraclechamp.webs.com

Maggie said...

Love this Amber, of course tears followed. Some days I forget how fast this will go by:(

Regina on May 16, 2011 at 5:07 PM said...

Loved your sweet words. It's a reminder to me and many others to slow down and enjoy the "Every" days for they will soon be "Past" days"!
~Regina

Anonymous said...

Sweet Amber, you explained motherhood so perfectly. It's sad thinking of the years being so fleeting, but you'll relive them, to a certain extent, when you have grandchildren. You are enjoying your little ones now and you'll have so many precious memories when you need to recall them. I love the way you are preserving them now. You are really a gifted mother and writer. So many people are blessed by your family.

Much love from your great-aunt in Texas.

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