Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day

Sunday was Mother’s Day. I blogged yesterday about my lack of confidence, and that uncertainty slips into my mothering. Being a mom, however, is the best thing that ever happened to me.

My kids and my husband tell me I’m a fabulous mother. I had the luxury of staying at home with my two sons and daughter when they were little, and I put them first. Being my kids’ mom has brought me mountains of joy.

Dallas, Drew, and Giana have always been unique. Not in that “my kid is cuter than your kid” kinda way. I mean they are extraordinary. It was as if they were born wearing wings on their backs and roller blades on their feet. From the moment they took their very first breath, they were itching to fly.

My kids reveled in their uniqueness. Sometimes, that meant they pushed boundaries and crossed lines. One Sunday morning when Dallas was around 4 years old, I picked him up from his class after church. His teacher looked at me and said, “Dallas was very bad today. Tell your mommy how bad you are.” I didn’t know whether to cry or smack that chubby gray-haired woman!

The years have washed away the details of whatever trouble my son had caused, but I know I went home and taught him the difference between being bad and doing wrong. Good people sometimes do bad things, but God loves us still.

The church busybodies and rumormongers used to stop me in the hallway on Sundays. One said, “I heard you don’t believe in spankings. I think your kids need a good spanking.” Another woman said, “I heard you let your kids watch ‘The Power Rangers’. I think that show is making them crazy’.”

I wish I’d had the courage to ignore any sentence that started with “I heard”, but I was a young mom and I valued the advice of older women. I also grew up in a gossipy church, so this type of female chatter was…well…normal. By the way—I DID spank my kids, and I did NOT let them watch “The Power Rangers”.

One day a few years ago I ran into a woman who asked about my kids. I was sad to report that Dallas was battling a drug addiction and had recently been arrested. “Liz”, she said as she took my hand in hers, “Dallas made his decision when he was a little boy. It’s time to give up on him.” Never! I’d never give up on my children.

When my kids were younger I went to every dance recital, talent show, opening night, soccer game, basketball game and parent/teacher conference. When they got lost I searched for them in crack houses, seedy sides of the city, homeless shelters, and dark alleys. I loved on them when they were in jail, rehab, and hospitals. Today, they are my friends.

So, another Mother’s Day has come and gone. It would have been impossible to be a perfect mom or to raise perfect kids. I am human and flawed, after all. Tom and I have raised fabulous free spirited kids.

Dear Dallas, Drew, and Giana,
I thank God for you, and I am so grateful that He trusted me to be your mom. I thank you guys for your love and friendship. You stretched me, taught me, and helped me become the woman I am today.

To the ladies out there who get to be "Mom" to extraordinary kids—Happy Mother's Day! They were born to fly and you get to enjoy the adventure. Blessings to you all, and hang on!

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