Monday, May 9, 2016

Being Mom

6 years ago, on Mother's Day 2010, we announced with great excitement to family and friends that we were expecting our 4th baby.... our baby who was due on Christmas day.  Our Rachel Alice.

I still remember some of the looks... some gave us just silence... and some gave a few negative comments, such as "can't we pick a different time of year to have a baby?" and "Another one???"

Some people just don't see the point of going past two kids - and certainly 3 is enough, don't ya think?  Well, to be honest... I wanted 4.  My whole life.  And I thought that was a lot.  I wanted 2 boys and 2 girls and a white picket fence.  I was thrilled to be having our 4th... the baby who would complete our family.

I got it all...  I had it all... even the fence.

But nothing on this earth is anything but temporary.  The good, the bad, the in between. Nothing.

Each year on Mother's Day, I miss Rachel like crazy.  We always go visit her after church and I try to get a picture with the kids near her stone.  Reality is so loud on special days that I wish she were here for.

So, 6 years later, here I am.... I got the very exact thing I wanted and it was all stripped from me and it hurt and it's been a long, hard road... but I'm somehow still standing.  I've had 3 more beautiful babies since Rachel came and went... one of which was another Christmas baby!  We've certainly irritated the nay-sayers I mentioned above, I'm sure.

Another one??  Yes.  Can we pick a different time of year to have a baby??  Maybe, but as long as we don't have to also bury our baby, I don't really care what day the birth falls on.

All of these joys, sorrows, love and pain have come as part of the Mom package.  Having a child, you discover a love like no other.  Losing a child, you discover a pain like no other.

This life of mine is crazy.  It's chaotic.  It's hard.  It exhausts me every day.  My life is busy...  It's overwhelmingly demanding.  But it's also beautiful... rewarding... filled with JOY and smiles.  These kids bring me to my knees in the face of my inadequacies.  They steal my heart and run me ragged.  They have me cheering about poop, crying over chubby hands and singing about random things just so I don't look like I'm talking to myself.  I drink cold, or reheated coffee all day long.  I keep track of everything and write multiple lists every day that I never have when I need them.  I clean. non. stop and our house is still a mess and I do more laundry than I ever knew could circulate in one household.  I'm constantly on the go - and constantly needing my own mom because even though I am the one who is supposed to know what I'm doing here, I feel like I'm sure to mess everything up and need to hear her tell me I'm doing alright.  I will be absolutely lost when the day comes that I can't call my mom when I need her....  My heart aches for my family and friends who have had to say goodbye to their moms.  Moms are always needed.

Being "Mom" is a huge responsibility - a life long job.  Being "Mom" is commitment, perseverance, loyalty, protecting, advocating... unconditional love.  And that is all present in a mom even towards children who have left us much too soon.  Because being a mom... loving your children... has got to be the absolute deepest bond that exists except that between us and God himself - and it starts well before our babies are ever born into this world.

I love being a mom.  I love being Rachel's mom.  I'm thankful that having to let go of Rachel and surrender my idea of the perfect family has given me these three other children I may not have if my plan wasn't interrupted.  I'm thankful that God used her in too many ways to count to make my life richer and more meaningful.

I wish I was better at what I do.  I wish I was the mom I always thought I'd be from all those years of Early Education classes and jobs... but I'm just not.  I'm not because life is more complicated than I ever imagined - than any text book ever warned.  I never expected it to be so hard - and I never knew that hard could be so amazing.

It rained a lot today.  After we left the cemetery, we got some caramel sundaes, and the sun came out again. I posted on fb that there must be a rainbow... sure enough, multiple people shared pictures and told me of rainbows they could see from where they were.

Being a mom means some times you can't see the rainbow from where you are at... but that doesn't mean they aren't there.  It's just that sometimes as a mom, you need your friends to remind you that God's promises are true until you are able to see the rainbows again for yourself.

I thank the Lord for my mom, my children, and my friends who continue to remember Rachel and ride the waves of this journey with me.  I Thank the Lord that I am a mom... for all the joy... and even all the sorrow... and everything in between.