Michal from Relishing Motherhood is having a writing contest. The topic is basically your thoughts on motherhood or as she put it an Ah Ha moment. I really haven't ever done anything like this but, I have recently put a few of my thoughts together and figured what the heck.
Being a mother has changed me. It has taught me things that I did not even know I needed to learn. It has tested me and stretched me into a person I am just getting to know.
Twenty years ago, as I was anticipating the birth of my first son, I realized that now my life was no longer about me. All of my thoughts, dreams and actions were focused around this new little spirit. I was excited and ready to take on the challenge. The minute he was placed in my arms I was changed forever.
Along this journey I have had many wonderful experiences. Looking back however, it has been the difficult experiences that have been the most rewarding. Isn’t it ironic? It is the latter that I have chosen to write about today.
It was a Wednesday night in early February. As we sat down to eat, my three year old son Justin pulled the cord on the electric skillet spilling boiling oil onto his head and arms. We spent many sleepless nights in the burn trauma unit. It was physically and emotionally almost more than I could bear. Nothing is as difficult as seeing your child suffer.
Once we knew that his life was no longer threatened, my list of worries began to change. I mourned the loss of my perfect, beautiful little boy. I would stare at his before pictures for hours thinking “what if” and “if only”. It didn’t take long however, to realize that he was still beautiful and perfect. HE WAS JUST THE SAME. Beauty comes from within. I had been taught an amazing lesson and I was changed forever.
Next I remember a long, terrible night. I had noticed some changes in my son Jalen’s normal routine. He was barely eating and always tired. Finally, after a week or so, I took him to the doctor. We found that his digestive system was plugged up. His intestines were compacted and had been for three or more weeks. Needless to say the doctor was concerned and he gave us a few things to try. That night we saw no results. We went back the next day and were given one last option before they would have to schedule surgery.
No one but I would know what that little boy endured that night. For hours his body trembled with pain and his pride was completely stripped away. In between his gasp he would apologize and whisper “thank you mom”. It was physically and emotionally almost more than I could bear. Nothing is as difficult as seeing your child suffer. That night I learned a very difficult lesson about true compassion and I was changed forever.
This last experience is from about six month ago. It was the darkest and most difficult time of my life. My oldest son Jordan was making choices that went against the things that we had always taught him. We were constantly arguing and our home was always a place of contention. I was so tired of it and to be honest I felt like I couldn’t stand it or him anymore.
One night things were especially awful and scary. After hours of heated arguing Jordan grabbed a handful of clothes and walked out the door. He was gone. How could this be happening? It was physically and emotionally almost more than I could bear. Nothing is as difficult as seeing your child suffer. This was not my dream when that precious infant was placed in my arms. But I learned a few important lessons that night. I learned to pray. I mean to really pray and pour my soul out to God. I learned to never say never. And I learned unconditional love. It took him walking out the door for me to fully understand how much I truly loved him. That night I was changed forever.
I am grateful for these and the many other things that I have experienced as a mother. These are lessons that I could have learned in no other way. I am humbled that my children were willing to go through these trials to help their mother change and grow. So now twenty years later I think I may have changed my mind; maybe, just maybe it is all about me after all.