My human tornado of a daughter, Emory, is back home from Europe. Between telling us of her trip and preparing to leave at the end of the month to live with our oldest daughter for the summer, she had time to write this guest post, which is a nice follow-up both to Mother's Day and this recent article.
Moms have feelings too. But I’m convinced that we all, especially young people, don't act like they do quite often enough. Of course, I blame moms everywhere for this failing. It starts with pregnancy and birth. Nine months of watching your body stretch, your feet swell, your veins bulge, your muscles ache, and a host of other difficulties that I, having never been a mother, can only imagine. As if that wasn’t enough, pregnancy is followed by hours if not days of labor. Since my only experience with labor is watching all six seasons of _Call the Midwife_, I cannot speak directly to this process. But I do know that it is pretty hard. And it hurts. So we are born and immediately fall down and thank our moms for the tremendous sacrifices they made to bring us into this world. Nope. Not even close. We scream. We cry. We keep her up all night. We lack the ability to see beyond our own needs. Mom doesn’t seem to mind. Her own love blinds her to how selfish we truly are. The nights up feeding and changing diapers turn into nights up cleaning up vomit, changing wet sheets, and chasing away bad dreams. Still, our moms press on. Somehow managing to get out of bed in the morning to feed and dress the kids (and the husband) and get them out the door. Maybe your mom went to work, or maybe like mine she worked at home. Either way, her day promised to be non-stop activity from the moment her feet hit the floor to the moment she wearily crawled into bed. Only to be beckoned to her child’s bedside an hour later. We grow up and thankfully learn how to feed ourselves and stop wetting the bed. Yet, we grow into a whole new set of needs. We need driven to music lessons and soccer practices. We need help to pick out the perfect outfit for our school presentation. We need help understanding why kids suddenly get so mean in middle school. We need help with our hair, our homework, our lives. Mom delights to do so. Rarely complaining. Always sacrificing. While I can now drive myself places, pick out my own outfits, and brush it off (most of the time) when kids are mean to me, I still need Mom. Who else is going to hold me when my fragile heart is close to breaking? Who else is always ready to share her delicious recipes when I cannot for the life of me think of what to cook? Who else is going to believe I will succeed when I have failed so many times? Who else is going to pray for me with a love so faithful and unchanging it blows my mind? But, I’m selfish. In some ways, you could say I still have that infant mentality. So consumed with my own needs that I cannot see the beautiful, strong woman in front of me needs a hug. Maybe a back rub. Maybe needs someone to make her supper for once. Or maybe just needs someone to ask her how she’s doing, how her heart is, what’s going on in her mind. I blame you moms. I blame you for always loving and serving so selflessly that we often don’t even realize you need some love too. Of course I know it’s actually my fault. For truly your example should be motivating me to be like you. I really hope I can. I know it starts now with stopping to take you for granted. Moms do have feelings and needs too. So teenagers, college students, young adults, let’s get our eyes off of ourselves and start loving them in the same way they love us—tirelessly and selflessly.