Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Growing Kids in the Motherhood

Image from Golden Legacy

Inch by inch, row by row,
Gonna make this garden grow.
All it takes is a rake and a hoe
And a piece of fertile ground.

Inch by inch, row by row
Someone bless these seeds I sow
Please keep them safe below,
'Til the rain comes tumbling down.

I've really never grown anything successfully—except children. But I think a garden is a good metaphor. One blessing of being a mother is to learn how blossoms bloom and grow.

When I was new to the Mother 'hood patch, I was too busy with weeding, mulching, and constant irrigation to appreciate what was happening under all that manure. Now as an Oma I can stand back and observe the process.

Most baby animals instinctively know how to eat; many stand up and walk almost immediately. But human moms and babies have to cooperate to learn natural activities: sucking, nursing, sleeping, even burping. Apparently God has a reason for this. Since none of us can remember learning this stuff as a newborn, I think the system must be for the mother's benefit. She can watch the challenge, effort and mastery involved with growing on a daily basis.

When one of my kids talked at 18 months, and another didn't talk until age three, I worried. (They both talk now.) It was the same with writing, climbing, reading, sharing; I gradually discovered that everyone learns on an individual timetable. I'm more patient with myself and others knowing we'll all master most things, but on different schedules.

Someone said, "I myself am made of flaws, stitched together with good intentions." One day my friend called to report on my five-year-old son's colorful vocabulary. She said, "I'm telling you this out of love." Of course his cuss words of choice were the ones he'd heard from me. The whole setting an example thing is the scariest part of the 'hood.

Third Man

Parents are continually humbled—humiliated, in fact—by the kids following in their footsteps. I learned the truth of: "Judge not that ye be not judged."

A baby grins, and notices his mom's excitement. He does it over and over because he likes the reaction. Pretty soon he mirrors her expressions and sounds, and before long he copies her attitudes. I used to think it was totally unfair that I couldn't be in a bad mood without the whole family spiraling down with me. I'd have my little pout or sulk, and then end up coaxing everyone else out of their funk. It seemed less trouble to hide my doldrums and pretend to be chipper, because the rest of the group followed my lead.

Glee Club

Another blessing hidden in the Mother 'hood was the discovery that if you act happy, you become happy. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." It's the secret of a cheerful mother's nature.

Plant your rows straight and long,
Nourish them with prayer and song,
Mother Earth will make them strong
She will make it fertile ground.

I spent a lot of time raising my crop, watching them blossom.
But I think I've grown the most.

What has motherhood taught you?


The Grandmother Here said...

Patience. I don't know how people without children ever get the opportunity to learn patience because there's nothing as irritating, maddening or infuriating as children. Good thing we love 'em!

Chiska said...

How infinite the depth of the things I do not know. I'm just getting started, but wow!

Abby said...

I'm right in the middle of the hood. It amazing to me how much a baby accomplishes in one short year. Coming into this world not being able to do anything on their own, to a year later where they are mobile and trying to communicate etc.

Jake is a whinner and boy does it drive me crazy, but it also makes me laugh. I'm getting ready for work and he comes in with a sad little face. "mom, can you please come lay down with me?" He says it in such a cute little sad voice how do I resist?

Becoming a mother has rocked my world, but it is also the most fun, greatest blessing there is. I think motherhood has made me believe in miracles and in the small successes in life. Motherhood has made me appreciate getting through one day at a time, and getting excited over finding a toy and jumping on the trampoline. And really, isn't that what is really important?

Great post.

Heidi said...

A heavenly perspective. Thanks for always reminding me to look at the grand scheme of things. It totally helps in life.