Saturday, May 10, 2008

thoughts on Mother's Day..a litle message for tomorrow

Mother’s Day has always been a bit of pickle for me.
Bit of an exclusive day somehow.
It has caused me some heartache.
I am pretty sure I am not alone in this.

There is much to be learned from the Mother institution-be it the “official day” to celebrate it, or not!
Since God is half mother-and since I was asked to pass along all my “nuggets of nurture”I will forge ahead-

And truly-I am happy to share with you about what I have learned about being a parent as a Spiritual experience.
It should only take a few moments.
I am a slow learner.
The lessons are pretty much all on a theme-only disguised in different daily experiences, and so I keep thinking they are new.
But I am only on the first chapter: Addition....(family addition) the subtraction, division and multiplication will follow I am sure.
So, here are three things I have been learning lately:

To preface: I never thought I’d see the day that I would be standing here speaking of lessons learned about being a parent.
Not that I didn’t want children. Quite the contrary.
Lets just say it all took a little longer that I would have ever guessed.
Marriage, pregnancy, delivery, and finally-a baby on site!
And I suppose in retrospect all this waiting and wishing, dreaming and unravelling of myself in hopes for a family of my own, came with one of the best lessons never to leave my heart..and that is:
Becoming a parent is not a reward for the person of greater faith or value in God’s eyes.
Pregnancy is not a demonstration of God playing favourites.
Childlessness, barrenness, infertility are not God’s stamp of displeasure or disapproval.
Children are a gift. Pure and simple. Healthy or unwell.
Some are welcomed as planned little bundles of scheduling somehow gone right,
some are welcomed as unexpected surprises.
Some are taken with resentment.
Some are held at a distance and blamed for being born at the wrong place and time.

In our society where success is seen as constant growth, and in a Christian culture that tends to revere parenthood to a status of some kind of arrival: I raise my little flag of caution. Let us be open-hearted to those who want, wish and can’t be mothers, those with children who have truly lost their way, those who are without family-emotionally or physically. Today’s “widows and Orphans” can come in many more faces: single, divorced, childless, -wrongly defined as being “have-nots”. We all possess the ability to pour our legacy out into our world. Be it into children, passionate work, abilities, gifts and lives so worth sharing.
No one is meant to be excluded in God’s Family. Everyone is allowed a true HOME in this family, a safe, nurturing, truth-telling, accepting loving place and a significant meat and potatoes kind of a role.
In God’s family, we are ALL siblings.

The Second lesson about myself as a parent, and about God as a parent.
is..Love is not an ability to control.
This is like a recurring dream.
Like the one where you can fly. Only very different.
For me it began in those first starkest, most demanding hours, blurry days and nights of being a mother to a newborn baby.
To put it lightly: Finn didn’t know what was expected of him as a baby, and I didn’t know what he expected of me as a Mama.
An intense misunderstanding had we.
He had the advantage of blissful ignorance.
I was overwhelmed by responsibility, fatigue and raw helplessness.
And so the deep understanding of God as creator began anew to awaken itself in our little household.
Everyone unsure of how it will work out in the end.
And now, past the newborn phase of mothering into the assertiveness of the two year old, and unrelenting lack of control one experiences as a parent of a 3 year old male potty resistant child.
Before I was a mother I never got what is was all about: The passion of the potty-mouthed mothers. I get it now. Potty training has the potential to bring every PHd to their knees. Just like the proverbial horse-you can bring a child to the potty-but you cant make him GO. And as I face this frustrating reality for oh-quite some time now, I HAVE to laugh about what it teaches me of God’s ways with us all. I Have to laugh, cause else I scream. God allows us to learn, in our own way and time.
True learning and thus real change comes from a willing and open and ready heart.
So, help me God.
So help me learn.

Last lesson of Late:
Here and now is the best place to be. (this simple addige can be applied to anytime)
I am so unbelievably grateful to be a mother to Finn Peter Brendan and Wrenny Mirabel May.

My friend Lloy had a baby about 6 months before me, and when I asked her about it all she said “it is alot better and alot worse than I ever thought”.
And I want to speak to the “alot better”, cause life is too short to get stuck in the mire of “alot worse”
I love to be a mother because I am amazed, mesmorized, captivated, soaring in cheezy and bears’ claw LOVE for my two children. They are the most compact little containers of energy, humour, emotion, resilience, mercy, creativity and independance.
And they so GET how to Love. They are fearlessly, wasteful about it, in a slathering till it drips off the toast kind of way. They don’t even care if I return it-they just don’t seem to know how to turn that switch off yet. In snuggles and in tantrums-they fight for my attention, for my constancy, for my affection, my protection. They are not about tomorrow or yesterday-they are RIGHT NOW. They are NOt in a hurry, they do Not have an alternate plan. They are the great lifejacket of our fast-paced-achievement-driven world-everybody swims the same kinde of kooky way when you got one on.
They demand my best, they forgive my worst. They WANT to be taught-even though it is hard to tell every once in a while..they open up their little hearts and minds to me and say-filler up-every single waking moment. I suspect every sleeping moment too. And I LOVE IT.
This has made me realize how God must just feel the same way about me. About you, about every crazy nut in this place. He is thrilled at everything we DO finally learn. He is totally enthralled. He loves us because we are each so different. He loves when we get along and sing and hold hands and stop fighting long enough to hug.
That is a big deal to him.
So-Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

To end.
a cheezy little poem i wrote for the occasion-because I am embracing the cheeziness that mothering is teaching me. Cheesiness is actually a form of godliness, in case you didnt know.

Recipe Box

2 parents
love LOVE love
wait wait WAIT
take out of oven and enjoy with the whole family.
easy peasy
serve with selflessness for the rest of your life.

*Optional: for best results add soother, sunscreen, playdo, sand.
keep fresh by placing in sunshine for a period of time each day.
tends to become spongey and lifeless without rest, careful handling and a thorough tickle.


Karyn-for-you said...

oh, Annie.... You have such a way with words. Your thoughts perspective and commpassion for people is alway's a warm welcome. I just love you!!

Pat Murphy said...

Enjoyed your post immensely, Anie.

My best and thanks,

Pat Murphy