I've been thinking alot today about the day 19 months ago when I first became a mother, and the wild ride it's been since then. Though I would never trade it for the world, motherhood is the toughest job I've ever had. I guess being a mom has made me appreciate my own more, as well as the other women who have been "mothers" to me and grandmas to my child.
I wrote this a couple of months ago, and I wanted to share it with you all in honor of Mother's Day.
I remember when my son’s babbles first started making sense. He, like most babies, began using “Dada” first. I can well recall my husband’s smug look as my son babbled “Dada” over and over again. He called my husband “Dada”. He called me “Dada”. He called the wall “Dada”. I think I even heard him call a piece of lint on the carpet “Dada”. I knew this was normal, and that “Dada” was so much easier to say than “Mama”, but I must admit that I longed to hear his little baby voice say those precious words.
And he did say them, of course, like all babies do. I recorded the day in his baby book and looked forward to hearing those sweet words again and again. And yet, he still preferred to say “Dada”. It became almost a game to him. I would point to my husband and ask “Who is that?” My son would answer, “Dada!” Then I would point to myself and ask “And who is this?” My son would glance at me with an ornery glint in his eye, then declare in his most authoritative voice, “Dada!”
Over time, I did begin to notice that my son seemed to know who Dada was and who Mama was. And more and more, he started using those names correctly. Soon I began to hear Mama more often, until I started to wonder if I would ever hear anything else. He would wake up in the morning and call out to me with a cheerful “Mama!” And if I wasn’t there in 2.5 seconds, I heard it again. All day long I’d hear, “Mama! Mama! Mama!” Mama when he was angry, Mama when he was scared, Mama when he was bored and needed to be entertained. Driving in the car I would feel his feet kick the back of my seat as he called out “Mama!” As he flung his plate off his tray at dinner-time to proclaim to all the end of his meal he would announce it to “Mama!” While I was talking on the telephone or making dinner, there would be a little someone tugging on my pant leg with a plaintive “Mama!”
I do love to hear my son call out my name. I am glad that I am the one he calls for to fix his problems, show off his accomplishments, and protect him from all his monsters. But I am human, and sometimes I do wish he’d call out for his dad once in awhile, especially when I’m not quite ready to get out of bed in the morning or when I’m trying to use the bathroom without an audience. It’s in those moments, when his gentle calls have turned into a high-pitched scream of “MaaaaaMEEEEE!” that I try to remind myself that I once begged for this.
I am so glad that our heavenly Father isn’t like me. The Bible tells us that because we are God’s children, we can call out to Him as our Abba, our Daddy. We can cry out to Him all day long. We can call His name when we are scared, or happy, or sad, or angry, or whatever. We can call out to Him every hour of the day or the night. But unlike me, He never rolls His eyes and wonders what we are whining about this time. He never contemplates duck-taping us to the wall or pulls the covers over His head to try to convince Himself it was just the wind He was hearing. He never tells us to walk it off or even has to count to 10. He just delights in us, in answering us when we call.
I praise God that He is a better parent than I am. And I praise Him that with His help, I am doing the best that I can. The best thing that I can do for my son is to teach him that there is Someone else to cry out to; Someone who, unlike me, will never let him down. What an incredible day it will be when I hear him cry out “Abba!” for the very first time.
***Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! And to you who aren't, I hope you take a minute to thank God for the moms in your life today.