“The ability to express oneself easily and articulately.”
There are days when the words pour out of me. They literally just come up from the very depths and bubble and simmer. There are times I may even fight the urge to spring free of my bonds and try to cap my need for this self expression. I fear I am unworthy. That I am jumbled. That I just don’t make sense. This most often happens in the middle of the night, when I have found the softest spot in bed and my eyelids are getting heavier by the second…. and there is suddenly this urgency. That push. The need to get up and write. To create something. To get it all out before it is gone.
There is this thing called a legacy. Most days I want to leave one. I want to be substantial. I want to be tangible. Not so people accept me. Not because I have a claim to fame. Because I am a mother. I am a mother of five precious souls and they matter. I want them to look back some day and say “Wow! That was my mama, and she was something special and she really, really loved me.” I won’t be here always. But I will always be where it matters, in their very heart of hearts.
They are my very reflection most days.
I see just who they are becoming with each year of coming age. Their soft tender souls. Their ability to love for no reason. The kindness that just emanates from their very being. It makes their independence bearable. It helps soothe the fact that they won’t always need me.
And there is Jesus. There is always Jesus. Because when I am not there any longer he will be. He always is. That is comfort to my very mother’s soul.
Sometimes I begin writing for them, or to them. I have no clue where I am going with any given thought. I have no idea what I want or what I am hoping for. I just grab the wave and let it ride me.
I do always look for ways to impart little tidbits of advice and wisdom to them. Having so many children you would think maybe I would have all the answers. I just don’t. I have learned a few things along the way though. Maybe most people know these, but when my children have children this will be there.
Let the messes lie where they are. Even if you need to sacrifice an hour or two of sleep to clean up later, let the littles play. One better than that… make messes with them.
Always listen. The moment you feel a tug, or a pull or a little voice call out to you… listen. And drink it in. Revel in those tiny voices. Appreciate the stories, the imagination, the whimsy.
Hug for no reason. You don’t need an excuse to love on your children. Don’t wait for them to come to you. A day may come when they simply don’t come as easily as they do now.
Be silly. Who cares who is watching. Sing your heart out. Make crazy faces. Run around wild. There is enough serious in this world. Your children will learn that on their own.
Watch them sleep. When they wake they are just a little bigger.
Teach them how to pray. Then let them teach you. Nothing is too big or small. I am still working on this one myself.
Keep your promises and if you can’t.. don’t make them. They will remember. They always remember. A broken promises can sometimes equate to a broken heart.
Take lots and lots of photos. They don’t have to be pretty pictures. They don’t have to be perfect pictures. They can be on the cell phone, on a big fancy camera. Just take them… and print them. When they are older they will want to see them. One up that and get in the frame with them. No matter how hard that may be sometimes. I guarantee they are going to think you are just as beautiful then as they do now.
Take heart. They are always watching. There are days when parenting is HARD. It is a gift, these children are a blessing, but it isn’t always going to be easy. Remember to breathe. Tomorrow is a new day with new opportunities. There will be time to sleep later. There will be days when the house is always clean. There will be days when you don’t have to pack diaper bags or schlep kids or play taxi or fight over who eats what vegetables. And guess what? You are going to miss that.
Now I am the last person that should probably be giving advice to parents. We all have our ways. We all have our reasons. These help me though. They give me peace. They fill my soul to the brim. They help quiet those doubts that creep in now and then after a trying day where I am just wondering if I am indeed a good mother.
Do something nice for yourself. It’s okay to buy that new pair of shoes or that dress. You deserve it. I know it’s hard to spend money on ourselves but it is important now and again. We need to love ourselves so our children can do the same.
I do know when my children are grown and have children of their own, these are things I will want them to hang onto. I don’t know where life will take us, or what that picture looks like and I am certainly not trying to rush that but this will find them when the time comes for that to be.
And even if I can not articulate properly. They will have something real to hang onto.