Yesterday our oldest child turned forty-four. As usual I relived the events of his birth and wondered at how time could have past so quickly. As usual, I celebrated not only his birthday, but the advent of my motherhood. Michael is the first of our five children, so my husband and I spent many years “in the trenches” so to speak. Parenting is not for the faint-hearted. Forty-four years ago, if I had realized the responsiblity, sacrifice, challenges and anxiety that went with the job, I may not have been so eager to have a baby. At twenty-two years old, idealism and optimism ruled my life.
Today, I see that the gift of motherhood has been the impetus for my personal growth and my joy. Children are really our teachers. The five little lives entrusted to my care, led me to seek the support and knowledge I needed to be the best person and parent possible. Our children unveiled the level of strength and resilience I possessed. The financial challenges, took me back to school, both as a teacher and student, resulting in an amazing professional career. Other challenges taught me to rely on the Lord and helped me understand we were not alone. As each child grew into an adult and married, they taught me to accept change. Abandoning my role as “Mommy” enables me to enjoy the role of “friend”.
Forty-four years later, we have come full circle. Our family now includes spouses and nine grandchildren. We are blessed that all of our kids live within thirty minutes of us, allowing us to easily connect with our grandchildren and enjoy sleepover, parties, sports games and family gatherings on a regular basis. It wasn’t always easy, but today I gratefully reap the rewards of motherhood and the lessons my children have taught me.