All over my social media pages I keep seeing the question, “What’s the most valuable lesson your mother taught you?”
I keep tossing it around in my mind, and every time I think I surely know, I change my mind, because I remember another incredibly wise lesson she shared with me.
The first bit of wisdom I decided on was, “God’s timing is rarely convenient and always perfect.”
She shared this with me when I shared the news of my third pregnancy on the eve of my husbands deployment. It was exactly what I needed to hear.
I apply this bit of wisdom to current events almost daily. It helps me loosen up a little and understand I can’t have my grip on every detail. Something I imagine she learned early in her mothering years as well and had to apply even more frequently as her number of children not only outnumbered her hands, but almost her fingers!
The next “most valuable lesson” is that my heart can and will grow to love how ever many children God gives me. Lots of moms share this wisdom with their daughters. I can really take this to heart, though, as I’m her seventh, and she’s never made me feel unloved my entire life. She’s made me angry, and on occasion sad, but she’s always loved me.
My next piece I want to remember for the rest of my life and share with my children is that love sometimes means we have to be mean. You have to stand for something or else you stand for nothing, right? My mom has the strongest will of anyone I’ve ever met. When she gives you a choice, you don’t have other options. Whether it’s peas for dinner or go hungry, be home by 10 or you’ll sleep on the dining room floor for a night per every minute you’re late, or, in my case, you can’t go out because you need to rest, she’s right. Every consequence was perfect for every child she had, and she had to do it differently for each of us. I’m sure not all of us have sat down and thought about them til we agree, but if we did, we’d come to the same conclusion. Our mom knows what we need and she pushed us to be the best version we could be.
The last lesson I’m going to share, though I’m sure it’s not the last valuable lesson she’s taught me or will teach me, happened when I was in labor with my third baby. I started to panic at the though of having to push. It would be an hour til I got to that point, but my mind had convinced itself that I didn’t remember how. This has happened before, but not to the point of sheer panic. I whimpered that I just wanted my mom.
My midwife encouraged Sebastian to call my mom. I’ve said it before, but there is no moment in our lives that makes us want our mother’s hug quite like being in labor.
I told her I was too scared to push. I didn’t think I could do it, but I wanted so badly for the whole thing to be over.
“Sweetheart, you can do it, and you have to do it. It’s the only way that it’ll be over. Nobody can do it for you.”
She was right about labor. The only way to be done is to push. And she’s right about a lot more in that sentence. Every day I have to do things that suck and that’s not going to change for a long time.
But I can do it, because my mom said so.
And I have to do it, because my mom said so.
So, Happy Mother’s Day to my mama. Thanks for all of the valuable lessons you taught me and will teach me, and thanks for every minute in between.