This parenting gig is so much more than what I thought in the days of dealing with infertility. I had idealistic notions of what it would be like to be called, “Mommy.”
Holding a baby close on my chest, caressing a velvety cheek, pushing back and forth in our rocking chair and singing soft Mommy songs to a child.
It’s so much deeper and wider and stretching, a constant humbling and dying to myself and what I want. Ten-and-a-half years into this journey, I’ve learned so much—both about myself and the children God has seen fit to give us.
Sometimes I sit in wonder with one or both of them, my arms wrapped around them, them snuggled close to me. Powerful love fills every fiber of who I am in those moments when we are just on the sofa, being. Together.
More often, our days contain busy-ness, training and instruction. Teaching them, praying character into them. This summer I’ve glimpsed hints of who they are becoming, the men they may one day grow into.
When I am busy with Mom and wife and house responsibilities, when I am trying to accomplish too much, it’s easy to forget they need time to just be. With me. To talk, laugh, tickle, play a game, run their boy-wildness out. Sometimes, I forget to just enjoy who they are in the now.
When I see character areas in need of “mothering,” I can be so quick to train, instruct. Sometimes, what they need is simply to share their hearts, pretty or ugly, and put words to what’s going on inside them. I am learning to set aside those “all-important” tasks and just Be. With them. Listening, holding, and at times, humbling myself as they share things I have done that hurt them.
In the everyday-ness of being a family, of being the Mom, I sometimes become more concerned with their training than their hearts. I hear their harsh words directed at each other, mean actions done. I overhear rude tones, and I’m irritated.
We’ve taught them better than that.
God gently reminds me they are in training. Perfection is never the standard. Then, He speaks to me, that I too, am in training. Relationship requires moments focused solely on the child, not divided between the to-do’s rolling through my mind, supper cooking on the stove.
Transparent relationship leads to heart change, in the boys. In me.
Relationship, at times, looks like hugs, cuddles, loves from their father, from me. It looks like tickle fests and laughter, skin-to-skin touches holding hands, arms around the shoulder. Connecting.
No, this parenting gig is not what I thought it would be when we walked through our valley of infertility. It is so much more, deeper, more intimate than I could understand in those days. God has given my husband and me the privilege of raising two boys, amazing, unique, designed by Him with a purpose they’ve yet to discover. When I stop long enough to see what makes them tick, I am the one blessed.
What about you? What have you discovered about being in relationship with those closest to you?