As I did my last round in the boys' room tonight around 10:30pm. I stroked their hair and nestled them in tighter under their blankets and quilts, hoping that if the power went out tonight that the chill would not get to them, as it has already snowed a half foot outside and the lights have been flickering all evening. I kissed their cheeks and listened to them breathing. They are here. They are real. They are mine and I am theirs. I am Mommy.
I have been reading a lot around this holiday about those for whom Mother's Day brings pain and grief. I understand that Mother's Day is not always flowers, candy, and brunch. It can be a reminder of the loss of a mother or a child, or a broken family, or infertility. These things that you quietly and calmly walk through nearly everyday of the year are thrust to the surface by the greeting card section at Target, Applebee's commercials and Buzzfeed.
It was not so long ago that I was in this camp. Having suffered a miscarriage and a molar pregnancy and four years of unsuccessful trying to become a mother, I didn't need more reminders of the child I didn't have and the status I did not hold. It was a difficult period of deeply, personal suffering that I still find hard to process and understand. But here, on this snowy Mother's Day Eve, I am grateful for that time where my hands were empty, open, and waiting.
Because of those empty hands, I know how very full they are now. I am a mom because of these three sleeping boys who run me ragged and test my limits. I am a mom because God fulfilled his promises to me. I am a mom by His mercy and grace. I am a mom so blessed and I do know it.
I do this round every night. I make sure no one is going to fall out of bed or wake up with 'crib face' because they have pressed their heads up against the slats. I check the temp and turn on the fan or humidifier accordingly. I check the alarm clock to make sure that it is set to go off at the right time. I make sure that there are no blockades between the door and each of their cribs, especially watching out for small objects which will cause harm to the feet of the half asleep me who runs to the side of the one who cries in the night. I touch each of their heads and say a prayer for their peace, protection and good dreams. This is my nightly ritual. I am the watchman on the tower, I am the guard for these littles. I am their mother.
For all those women who suffer on this day, all I can say that I am with you. I have no advice or help to give, but you need to know you are not alone. To all those moms who are fatigued but blessed with children, I can say that I am with you. And I can say that, just as I stand watch over my children, God stands watch over all of us. With his love and protection, under his mighty wings, we can rest and take refuge.
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”