Mother's Day is Sunday. My earliest memories include my dream to grow up and become a mommy. While the first part is debatable, there's no doubt about fulfilling my motherhood fantasies threefold, in Kimberly, Kent and Katy.
Bringing a life into this world is an overwhelming mix of ecstasy and terror. I actually recall the waterfall of thoughts on November 7, 1971, as the delivery nurse announced, "It's a girl!" THIS was my first Mother's Day.
Thank You, Lord! Oh, how am I going to take care of her? This soul is now forever. You're in the middle of a miracle. Can I do this, Lord? How thrilling to finally be a mother!
My emotions whirled as they handed Kimberly to me for the first moments of her life. She came so quickly without anesthesia so her eyes were huge and alert. Her round head nestled into my arm like two long-lost puzzle pieces. We fit.
However, a few weeks later I questioned my own fitness to be a mother. Doug and I went to Vernon Park Mall in Kinston, NC, to do some Christmas shopping and let Kimberly visit Santa for the first time. Obviously the outing was for us, rather than her.
After Santa posed with our newborn I said, "Doug, I'm running into Dupree's Children's Store to get the baby a sweater."
"Fine. I'll meet you back here in 15 minutes."
Leaning over the shopping cart handle into her little infant seat, I kissed Kimberly for the umpteenth time. My hand still on the cart, I looked to my right at the counter of baby clothes. In my peripheral vision I suddenly caught a glimpse of my precious baby falling head first for the terrazzo floor. I screamed an unnatural, guttural sound as I grabbed and snatched her from the floor to my sobbing chest. I felt my legs turn to water as a clerk rushed to us. I collapsed to the floor.
The next minutes were some of the most horrific of my life. I told the store employees my husband's name, tried to describe what he was wearing. Someone went to page or find him. Someone else lifted me into a chair and took my daughter from my trembling arms. I saw the scuff mark on Kimberly's perfectly round head as she cried. We cried. Time stopped. The world stopped. Yet my world was spinning at the same time.
Finally Doug was there.
Car flashers on, we raced the short miles to the hospital Emergency Room. The doctor took her. My thoughts railed on me as I watched him examine her.
How could you let her fall? You're a terrible mother. You knew she was strong and could kick. Why didn't you realized that little seat could totter and she fall out of it? You should have kept your hand on her, not the cart handle! Idiot! She'll probably be retarded and you won't even know for sure for several years. You'll live with this nightmare and damage all your life. . .all HER life!
I was still sobbing uncontrollably when the doctor handed me a calm Kimberly, and declared, "She's fine. I'm not so sure about her mother. She's in much better shape than you are, Mrs. Henderson."
As I shared all my thoughts with him, he helped disentangle them with, "Babies' bones are very soft and rubbery. They seem to be made for toughness. I'm actually more worried about you."
It was several days before my tearfulness subsided and I could believe his words. Maybe it was a blast of postpartum emotions. But Kimberly is brilliant. Unlike her unfit mother.
|Meeting Grandma Tippett|
But God gives grace when we mess up.
If we could see the whole journey ahead, we'd never get married or have children, because we'd be frozen in fear. The agonies of defeat would overshadow the thrills of victory. So we live out our childhood dreams day by day, loving, living the joys and surviving the falls and fails of life. It becomes a choice for faith over fear.
All moms feel like failures sometimes. Psalm 19:35 reassures us with, “You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.”
I still fail, hit bottom and come to the end of myself, but God gently comes and lifts me like that saleslady did long ago. He bends down to infuse me with His grace, wisdom and guidance. When we realize the One Who called us into motherhood also enables us to be the mothers we want to be, then our kids will get the mom they deserve. Day by day. . .only in Him!
From baby dolls to newborns to grandchildren. . .oh, it's worth it! I'd do it all again. God placed that desire to have children within us. He wanted them too. So He made us His own.
On a personal note to Kimberly, Kent and Katy,
PRESENT: You're a reflection of who I am and what will be, as you raise a family.
FUTURE: When I'm gone, I hope you'll see how happy you've made me. I'll be there.
This song says it all:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLS0Y40WwlA&feature=player_embedded
Here's another parent's blog on: Why We Have Children?
A few more shots of our beautiful firstborn Kimberly:
THEN. . .