Thursday, May 09, 2013

As I was surfing the internet tonight, I saw this posted on Facebook.  I read the article and I have to say, the list actually irritated me. 

 Not funny.   So much of that list That entire list is constructed purely from selfishness.  And the language is atrocious.  Lately, I feel like all I've seen is articles posted of people bemoaning their roles as parents.  It's sickening.  And makes me feel poorly represented.   It bears noting that motherhood (and fatherhood) is not a station merely forced on someone.  There's this prevailing attitude that parenthood makes a victim out of mothers and fathers.  As a society, we've reduced this station to drudgery.  We've forgotten the privilege and honor inherent in being mothers and fathers.  An attitude like this is what fuels the articles like that above.

Sure, like this author, I wouldn't mind sleeping in for a few extra minutes on Mother's Day.  But not to the detriment of my children or husband.  That's about as far as our "lists" for Mother's Day match.  

I actually secretly love Mother's Day.  But not because all the attention is on me (I actually secretly hate that part).  Rather, it's one of the few days in my busy life that I am actually allowed and encouraged to slow down and enjoy my children.  Look, I don't need a gift (yes, I said that--and I mean it).  I don't want a brunch with other women--I can have a "Girls' Night Out" any other day. Instead, I want to be trying to sleep in, and my little ones jump onto the bed and rouse me from my sleep and snuggle in next to me. I do want breakfast in bed, but only surrounded by my girls.  I want to be unable to eat most of it because they are too busy picking the food up with their tiny, precious hands.  I want jam or butter to drip onto the sheets, and for all of us to melt into giggles.  I don't need presents.  Just hugs. And prayers that I continue to strive to be as good a mother as I can be. Secretly, I would love to get plastic stringed necklaces and smeared, handprint cards (I *love* my girls' handprints).  I want to relish every second with my tiny ones that day, and bask in the humbling honor with which God blessed me when He gave me my children.

I want to get all teary thinking of my own mother, who gave birth to and raised six amazing and faithful human beings.  Who gave her all everyday making sure we were dressed sharply, surrounded by knowledge and imagination, and showered us with love only a mother can know.  I want to sit next to her, and whisper my gratitude to her in a quiet moment.  To let her know that I would not be half the mother I am if she had not relished in those messy breakfasts in bed, where she hardly ate anything.  Had she not said yes each time to carrying another child within her.  Had she not cherished the necklaces, the homemade cards, and simply the time with us. Had she not wiped bottoms for years, and mopped floors, cooked meals, and served us constantly.  

No, save your selfish lists.  I just want my children on Mother's Day...and my mother's beautiful and selfless example of motherhood.  

Happy Mother's Day.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

We were all sitting in the dining hall of San Antonio Military Medical Center (formerly BAMC) on Fort Sam.  Mary was having her sweat collected for her Cystic Fibrosis testing.  We were trying to eat and enjoy our lunch, but our hearts were heavy and fearful.  My sweet girls talked together and played and laughed. 

And then he walked through. 

I confess, I nearly choked though praise God he didn't hear it.  He sat down facing me further down the wall at a booth.  I could see him squarely from my seat.  And I tried so hard not to cry. 

He was burned so badly there was nothing left of his face.  Just a shell of his nose and holes for his eyes.  His hands were only partially still there.  He was tall.  He stood tall. 

And carried on. 

I don't know who he was.  I don't know how it happened, though I can only assume some sort of military service. 

I do know that my two tiny precious girls, without being bidden, walked down to the man and said hi.  Giggled.  Waved.

And he smiled.  And laughed.

They never noticed how different he was.  Not even my three year old.  I expected questions from her.  Innocent questions.  But she never asked.  She just talked to him.  His face blushed.  Mary smiled her cheesy 18-month old smile over and over again. 

They never saw what I saw.  The pain.  The loss. The scars. 

They saw a human being.  A man.  They somehow sensed his need for joy.  And they gave it to him.

Oh, that I could be a child in my heart again and do the same.  My heart ached for the man.  I was overjoyed that my girls filled his heart with happiness.  Gave him love.  Saw a man. 

And valued the person.