I was on a walk today at a park, pushing my son in his stroller and listening to a podcast that mentioned something about Eve. I don’t remember what was said specifically, but my thoughts started to wander as I thought more about Eve and the example she set for the rest of us mothers.
Eve had it pretty good, in the beginning. She was in a beautiful garden. She didn’t need to worry about cooking or folding laundry or shopping or making sure her children did their homework on time. She didn’t need to vacuum or clean toilets or break up sibling squabbles or pay the mortgage. She just had her husband and a lovely place to dwell. Paradise, you might say.
So what was the problem? We don’t know how long it took, but at some point Eve looked at the fruit she had been forbidden to eat, and she thought, “What if there is more to life than this?” She somehow came to the conclusion that it would actually be better to know good from evil, to feel sorrow so she could truly know joy. So she transgressed the law, meaning she crossed over the limits God had set. She did it because she knew that happiness was more than endless, frictionless sunny days.
I like frictionless, sunny days. But I like them especially after a storm. I feel so happy when my children are playing nicely together, because I have seen them fight. I love having a clean house, because I have seen it torn apart. I relish a delicious dinner, because I shopped and chopped and cooked and got it on the table for my family to enjoy. And I feel gratitude when I hug my healthy kids, because I have cared for them when they’ve been sick.
Here’s to Mother Eve who understood. She knew that there was more to life than a beautiful garden. She knew that hard times and work and children would bring frustration and sacrifice, but that they would also be the means to indescribable joy.
Here’s to the mothers out there, including the incredible women in my life. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for your love and your work and your patience. Thank you for seeing the bigger picture and for helping us all grow. Thank you for everything you do to make the world (with all its thorns and thistles) a better place.
Last night after a wonderful fun-filled night of family bowling, a very kind stranger gave my three kids one giant, green bouncy ball. They all had fun with it for a few minutes, and then it happened. Somebody started whining that they hadn’t gotten a turn. Then someone else wasn’t sharing. Before we knew it, our three older kids were in a full-out brawl. Tears were shed. I ended up taking the ball and giving it to some other unsuspecting family. All my children were mad at me.
Sometimes being a mom is hard. My days are filled with washing, drying, shopping, cleaning, cooking, carpooling, wiping up spills. They sometimes include breaking up brawls, motivating for the umpteenth time, and less sleep and personal time than I’d like. And little people don’t always remember to say “thank you.” However, today I wanted to take a moment to think about the good side. The really good side. Because as hard as being a mom can be, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Here are some of my favorite things about being a mom:
- When my kids make me laugh out loud, either by singing a silly song, dancing, telling me a joke they heard during the day, or quoting a line from a favorite movie.
- When my kids love each other, like this morning when Addie spilled her cereal and Ellie helped her clean it up (without my asking), or when Addie came down to sit at the table and when Zach finally looked up and noticed he said, “Oh! Good morning Addie!” Or when Addie writes one of her precious love notes. Or when they all hear Sam waking up and they ask, “Can I go get him Mom?”
- When my kids have worked really hard on something, like a piano or cello piece, and I get to watch the look on their face when they finally nail it with pride.
- When they surprise me with the things they want to do, like Zach asking to wake up at 6 a.m. for the past two weeks so he can exercise with us. “Really? Are you sure?” I still ask.
- Cuddling with them before they go to bed.
- When they mess up and then own it, as evidenced by the note I found on Ellie’s cello yesterday morning that said: “Thank you for teaching me cello Mom. I love it. Sorry I yelled.”
- Reading stories in bed together, either laughing at something funny or learning about something interesting, like last night when we read that in high school Barack Obama was dubbed “Barry O’Bomber” because of his jump shot. My kids loved that. Who knew?
- Having Sam snuggle up and rest his head on my shoulder while he holds his bear and sucks his thumb when he is sleepy.
- When my kids make each other laugh.
- When they can’t wait to show me something like a new fun game or a new trick they learned.
- Seeing them snuggled up at night with their Dad, who is known for letting them jump in our bed to watch an interesting 60 Minutes clip instead of getting them in bed when I’m away.
- Watching Sam copy everyone at the dinner table, like blinking his eyes tight or nodding his head or putting his hands up in the air or clapping when someone else does and having everyone else crack up at the cuteness.
- Watching them sleep, peacefully, quietly, in their beds.
- Getting to show them new beautiful or interesting things.
- Hearing them say “I love you Mom” even on the days when I haven’t been patient or I haven’t made the dinner they like or I haven’t let them go play with their friends when they wanted to. Like yesterday when I asked my son to turn off the computer for the third time. I lost patience and he got frustrated, but then he quickly said, “I love you Mom, you’re the best.” That’s love you can’t put a price on.
Sure, motherhood is hard. But it is also the greatest blessing in the world getting to be with these little people every day as we help each other grow. I’m sure glad to be the Mom.