Wednesday, November 17, 2010

# 17 ~ The Privilege of Being A Mother

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The Privilege of Being A Mother

I am grateful for the privilege of being a mother.

This is still one of my favorite quotes about motherhood. It describes me so well:

Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.
~ Ambrose Bierce

Ever since I was a young girl, all I have ever wanted to be was a wife and a mother. Watching my own mother, I could tell she loved being a wife and a mother, which was a great thing for us kids to see. Her kids were her first priority and we all knew it. She is a great example. Both of my parents are.

Anyway, I knew that being a wife and a mother was my calling in life and I looked forward with anticipation to the day when those dreams would come to be.

Even though it took longer to find love than I thought it would, I felt pretty content as I waited for love to find me. But once Aaron and I got married, and we started trying right away to have a baby... it was a lot more difficult for me to sit back and just wait for the next dream to come true. Month after month brought blow after blow of disappointment, and I became more and more impatient as we waited for the blessing of having a baby. After tests, surgery, and more waiting, we finally got pregnant through the miracle of artificial insemination. I could not have been more happy and grateful in my life than that moment when I read the word 'PREGNANT' on the tester.

Both of my dreams had finally come true. I was a wife and now I was going to be a mother.

Sadly, the earthly wife part of my dream came to an end way too quickly and life was turned upside down and inside out as I tried to figure out how to be a mother to Aaron Jr without having his father here anymore.

Now that I am doing this job of parenting all on my own, I have an even bigger appreciation for my privilege of being a mother. When Aaron first passed away, I had no idea what lay ahead for me as a mother. Going at this alone scared me... a lot. If things are going wrong, Aaron is not here to collaborate with so that we can figure out together how to raise this precious child.

Every day, I still wish that Aaron would come walking through the door after work so that I can tell him something funny or amazing that Aaron Jr did that day. I would love to be able to share his milestones and his fears with Aaron. I hate not having his daddy here to share them with as he grows up and gets older. I got really emotional these last couple of nights after Aaron Jr prayed that he and I would be able to see his Daddy again soon. As his mother, I love it when he talks about his Dad, but even though I want him to talk about him, my heart breaks for him. As a mother, protecting Aaron Jr from hurt is my priority.

Carrying the weight of worry of raising Aaron Jr alone is the heaviest I have ever carried. But being Aaron Jr's mother is my greatest gift. It is a sacred calling and responsibility that I have been entrusted with. I hope I can live up to that trust. It is a blessing that I have family, friends, the Lord, and my Father in Heaven to help me along the way.

The other night, Aaron Jr and I got home from somewhere and I went straight into one room and he went into another room. He didn't see where I went, so I soon began hearing him start calling for me in the other room in a very unsure and nervous voice. I didn't answer right away because he has been REALLY into playing hide and seek lately, so I thought it would be fun to pretend I was hiding. As I was washing my hands and drying them, he called for me several more times in a really worried voice and I could tell he was getting scared. It makes me start to cry as I think about him ever really being alone. Anyway, when he began sounding so nervous, I told him where I was and he looked SO relieved to see me. At that moment, I realized how much he needs me. I am it for him. I am his security. I am his protector, his teacher, his nurturer, his mother. He needs me. He needs me more than he needs anyone else on this earth. That is an awesome responsibility to be the one he needs most. It is a responsibility that I do not take lightly. He is my number one priority and nothing else in this world could take that spot.

Have I convinced you thoroughly about how much I love being a mother to Aaron Jr? I love it. I LOVE it. And I would not trade it for anything.

I love Aaron Jr. When he worries, I reassure. When he is scared, I protect. When he is wronged, I defend. When he is happy, I rejoice. When he is sad, I hurt. When he is funny, I laugh. When he is content, I am happy. And because he is here, I am blessed.

“[The] ability and willingness properly to rear children, the gift to love, and eagerness … to express it in soul development, make motherhood the noblest office or calling in the world. She who can paint a masterpiece or write a book that will influence millions deserves the admiration and the plaudits of mankind; but she who rears successfully a family of healthy, beautiful sons and daughters, whose influence will be felt through generations to come, … deserves the highest honor that man can give, and the choicest blessings of God” (Gospel Ideals [1954], 453–54).
~ President David O. McKay

I am so blessed and so grateful to be a mother.

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Since I am doing this posting on motherhood, I thought I would refer to my side bar under the heading of 'ITS ABOUT LOVE'. These are two of my friends who are trying to adopt. They are praying for the opportunity to becoming mothers and I hope and pray it happens for them soon.

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Mindy said...

Leslie, I have loved reading your gratitude posts. You have taken gratitude to a deep and beautiful level. This post is wonderful... I love your perspective on motherhood! Love you!

Rebecca Adams said...

I, too, am looking forward to the day when I will be a mother, whether it's through adoption or not. I know I will be a mother, but it's so hard to wait, as you have experienced. I see the happiness and joy that other mothers have, and I want that same happiness and joy so bad! I also love reading your gratitude posts. It makes life happier to know that others are happy. :)

Lisa Carter said...

You always have such a great perspective. I love being a mother, but I definitely get burned out at times. I love to read these words and remember how blessed I am.

P.S. I'm going to steal that David O. McKay quote.

P.P.S. I will give you $100 to name you next child Lixuali. (that's may word verification)

Chris and Kristy said...

It is such an amazing privilege to be a mother. I wouldn't be who I am today if I hadn't had a bumpy road to travel before this great blessing came into my life. I love your perspectives and view on life around you. And, I know you wouldn't be the person you are today without your bumpy, broken road. I'm SO thankful for you Leslie and what you've taught me and testified of. Here's to a great year ahead of building wonderful memories and treasuring each moment, big and small, of being a mother.