Yesterday was a very sweet moment for me.
I have been dreaming about being a mom for several years now.
I remember, as a teenager, feeling like a mother to my two youngest brothers. We would take turns changing diapers, feeding them bottles, playing with them, singing them to sleep, babysitting, etc. I would even have the occasional nightmare for their safety.
As I grew older my youngest brothers grew up and I soon felt like a mother to my nieces and nephews. I would smother them with kisses and gifts, take them on fun outings, teach them letters and vocabulary, babysit, change diapers, etc. And yes, I would have the occasional nightmare for their safety.
When I graduated from college and started teaching elementary school full time, I again felt like a mother, this time to my students. I would share in their accomplishments, feel their joy and disappointment, watch their excitement when they understood something for the first time, etc. And I would have the occasional nightmare for their safety.
So in many ways, I have felt like a mother all my life.
This was the first year I got to look down at the little boy in my arms, with his furrowed eyebrows frustrated that I wasn't feeding him right at that minute, and truly know that I am a mother. The overwhelming sense of responsibility and fear came over me so strongly. Something that I hadn't felt before. The feelings of inadequacy that I won't be a good enough mother for my sweetheart, that I'll make tons of mistakes. That's when I knew I was a mother. Being so overcome with intense love and devotion for someone so fragile and dependent on me. And the extreme motivation to be better; a better wife, a better listener, a better friend, a better homemaker, a better mother.
It made me think about my own mother.
How in the world did she raise 6 of us with all 5 boys serving righteous full term missions?
How did her heart manage to watch all of our mistakes and pain throughout the years?
How did she make every one of us feel so individually loved even in the crazy chaos of a large family?
Dallas jokes about my brother's and mine connection to our mom.
As a later addition to our family he sees the little behaviors and nuances that we totally miss.
He told me that he laughs every time we are all at home in Washington and he can sit back and watch us all interact with mom. He said that without fail the minute mom walks into the room, all of the children have a subtle battle over who gets to sit closest to her and in some cases we even end up on her lap. It's pretty funny to see my brothers fall into moms lap asking for back and head scratches. Dallas also said that our voices all tend to raise a bit and have a whine undertone...I'm thinking we must all have detachment disorders or something from his description!
Basically what this tells me, is that we all want to be around mom, be near mom...love mom.
And who can blame us?
If you know my mother, you know why she is so easy to love.
She goes out of her way to take care of those around her, to make them feel special and loved.
She's extremely musically talented, can play almost anything by sight reading and has the voice of an angel. She's an incredible teacher, has taught piano and voice lessons for several years. She's a wonderful cook and amazing homemaker. She made every costume in all the countless performances we were involved in whether it was clogging, drama, or pagents. My mom showed remarkable patience, especially through my melodramatic high school years, where I'm sure she wanted to pull her hair out every time I opened my mouth.
She drops everything to be there for you, even hopping in a car 6 weeks early to drive down to California just to comfort her only daughter as she watches her little boy hooked up to machines.
My mom is my best friend.
It hasn't always felt that way, puberty can really be a drag, but my mom is my best friend.
If I can be at least half the mother she is, I know my little boy will be just fine.
I love you, mom.
You are a constant example of Christlike unconditional love.
Thank you for all you have done, continue to do, and will do in the future.