Monday, January 7, 2013
A Good Mommy
Years ago, when my children were very young, I received a gift for Mother's Day. Most likely, it was something purchased by an adult, possibly my husband or maybe it was my own mother. It was a decorative plate, one meant to be put on display. It had a picture of a current Hallmark favorite, I think it was Holly Hobby in fact, and along the rim of the plate, the words "A Good Mother Makes a Happy Home".
I did my very best to fulfill the prophecy of the plate. I tried hard to become that good mother, to make Holly Hobby right proud. It wasn't always easy. There were many times when I am sure that I did not make the grade as "Good Mommy" and that my children surely would not have sent my photo to Hallmark as an inspiration source for the next year's plate. It's one hard job being a mommy and it's sad that we spend so many years wishing that the job would end and we would find freedom from the bonds that tie us to our children. Oh, if only we were able to take a time trip into the future for just one day. All of that would change.
So, I kept up with the challenge, putting all of my efforts into what was, at the time, my one and only full time job, the seemingly thankless, pay less and all-consuming one of Mother who longed for just a few moments alone with Father or just alone, alone. Some day, I would think to myself, some day I will have all the time in the world to do whatever it is that I want to do, uninterrupted, without having to explain anything to a child, without having to clean up after a day's play or a peanut butter lunch or a "project". Just time and nothing more.
I now realize that my dreams of free time became a reality all too soon. I wish I had known that free times are not always those that I would most cherish. All too often, I now have to push and prod myself in order to get organized and productive. Had someone told me that it was the children who were my source of creativity and inspiration, I might have argued then. I miss those days. I also now realize that the white knight who I thought would ride up to my front door on his horse, presenting me with a proclamation of "The Mother of the Year", was purely a fantasy. It really did not matter if there was dust on the floors or crayons in the coffee pot. I have too much free time that allows me to sit and wonder if I really was a good mother at all.
In a blink of an eye, my little girl grew up. Seriously, wasn't it just yesterday that we were at the Mall visiting the "Wabbit" who gave out "poppy pops" to a busy little three year old Sara who asked endless questions and tied her socks into bows around her ankles during nap time? The Time Bandit, about whom I speak quite a lot lately, stole that little girl and replaced her with a greater gift, my daughter as a grown woman, unspeakable beauty and filled with all that any mother could possibly hope for.
I watch Sara, now a mother herself to two little girls, and I remember how hard it was to get it all done. I recall vividly the longing for time and space of my own. I watch her as she mothers her own children so incredibly well, putting creativity and joy into their lives, teaching and guiding them, introducing them to the countless joys of being children. I know she takes her job as mother very seriously. It isn't easy, it was "yesterday".....so I remember it well.
If it is true that a good mother makes a happy home, then I know that Sara's is a home of abundant happiness and love. Holly Hobby is smiling. She does it better than I did and I hope she's never going to tire of the job because today, more than ever before, good mothers are needed to make a happy world, beyond the walls of home. It isn't easy, but looking at this beautiful fruit of my own labors, I understand that it is worth all the efforts.
Just as my time passed in an instant, so will hers. I hope she realizes this.
Just ask Holly Hobby.