From the moment I held each baby in my arms for the first time, I have been in love with our children. This love is something I could not even imagine before becoming a mom; at times it is intoxicating, sometimes overwhelming even. And it is this love I have for them that pushes me every day to be better, to be their role model, and to be strong even if it hurts.
When I became a Momma, I quickly realized that I had the huge responsibility of doing my best to raise decent, intelligent and loving human beings. I would get to take these helpless and unknowing babies with unshaped minds and exert my very own influence on them, to help make them become what I imagine good people to be. And not unlike my garden, doing this takes a lot of attention, care, pruning and weeding.
To give our kids my attention means sacrificing time on my end to show them what security, dependability and love feel like. To care for them means to protect them from harm, to do what I can to cure their ills, to teach them between right and wrong, to kiss their “owies” away and to teach them that, no matter what life chucks at them, there is always another tomorrow, another chance, another try. To “prune” them means to do things that may be hard and may even hurt to do, with the understanding that the outcome will be far better. To properly weed their garden means getting rid of what is bad and negative (and doing it before the roots get too deep!) and that which will suck the positive energy away from its surroundings.
At first, all of those acts seem like distant concerns easily dismissed until the teenage years. But as my little ones grow I already feel the necessity to watch my children’s gardens. Their roots are still developing and this is when they are most fragile, most impressionable. This is when they need me to set them on the right path.
Each phase they go through has its own challenges creating new worries and fears and, yet, each step is so unique, so beautiful, and so exciting. There is hardly a greater joy than watching your child finally take her first step, speak his first word, write her first letter. To see the light in my children’s eyes when they finally understand a concept or feel they have accomplished something or made a silly joke gives me warmth I cannot feel from the sun. To hear Isabel speak her old-soul’s mind and to have Thomas get off his “ho’se” (horse) and run to me saying “I law you” are worth all the sweat (and tears) I now shed for them.
I love being their Momma and I love watching them grow. Here’s to many, many, many more years of that.