Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Mom's Heart

A mom’s heart is a complicated thing. It’s so much more than an organ through which blood is pumped. It hurts heavy and loves large. It carries precious memories, wondrous joys, and uninvited burdens.

Over the past several years, I’ve had the great honor of exchanging emails with and talking to moms of prodigal kids. We share our failings and our triumphs—we laugh and we cry. I know some amazing moms!

Last night I talked with just such a mom for nearly two hours in a parking lot after our Bible study. Then this morning, I listened to a woman at work who needed to vent about her wayward children. The thing is, sometimes we just feel…I don’t know…not normal.

We all raised our kids the same way—in intact homes with two hardworking and loving parents. We were all American middle class families who went to church regularly, vacationed together, and filled the family album with happy memories. Now all our friends are bragging about their kids who are doing well in college, getting married, having babies, and making their way in the world. It’s hard to not feel a twinge of jealousy.

Between the three of us, we’ve supported our kids through drug addictions, jail, prison, crazy chaos, alcoholism, multiple hirings and firings, and more bad report cards than we ever dreamed possible!

The stress has taken a toll on the health of us frazzled moms—my work friend suffers from migraine headaches and fibromyalgia and I have post-traumatic stress disorder. All three marriages have taken a hit. Oh, and two of us have bunions (although to be fair, that probably has nothing to do with our kids).

I listen as the moms wonder why their now-grown babies aren’t like everyone else’s offspring, or why they can’t seem to just “do right”. My response is always the same—God is the perfect father, and his kids are a mess. Why should we expect perfection from ours? I know I know…I’ve written that before. But seriously, it bears repeating…don’t ya think?

When my husband runs into an old friend he hasn’t seen in years, they start talking work. When I run into a long forgotten acquaintance, she immediately asks about the kids. A man is identified by what he does, and a woman is identified by her relationships—particularly with her children and grandchildren.

I am blessed to be a mom. I am blessed to be the mom to MY children! Could our road have been easier? You bet! But, do I really want to be one of those gushing moms who go on and on about how perfect her child is? Guess what? No!

I’m so proud of my kids, and I’m proud of their journey. Our story has never been boring, and the final chapter is a long way from being written.

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