I have now been a mom for almost 4 years, not counting gestational "mom-time." Being a mom has been different/special/extraordinary/challenging/blessing...all those words you may hear about motherhood.
But for me, it's also been a re-inventing of what motherhood looks like.
My mother passed away when I was four, my brother was two, and my sister was a month old. She was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant with my sister and chose to keep her, take Tylenol, and say good-bye. So being a mother to my two girls is a journey I feel like I'm inventing as I go.
Thankfully, I have as sister-in-law who I can confide in and say, "Shiloh was beating a little boy at Canaan's school with the ring-toss stick yesterday. She was half his size!" I can discipline Shiloh, but laugh about it with Sarah and she doesn't think I'm a "loose mom."
We've got family who rolls their eyes with me when Canaan barely finishes her First Race Ever.
That would be due to her stopping half-way to poop.
I've got an incredible husband who takes one for the team and runs her to the closest building, sits with her in the bathroom, telling a story while she does her job, then runs her back to the race to finish dead-last. But hey, we tote the motto, "Try Hard and Do Your Best" rather than "Be an Olympian and Make Us Proud."
We're thankful for good kids--like Shiloh, who believes she's running for some sort of office--president of 2042, VP of student body government, or simply Queen of the Playground. Her winning smile, and compelling attitude make it hard not to Vote for Shiloh.
Plus, she's always prepared with a speech, enticing us to give her more noodles, regardless of how many vegetables she ate for dinner.
We've got an entertaining (almost) four year old who always has a Great Plan. Canaan's plan includes anywhere from one to 394 people, a variety of props not excluding the cat, at least 24 costume changes, lots of jumping on the "trampa-zine" to get the creative juices flowing, and leaves us thinking, "We may have the next George Lucas on our hands."
And here she is--in her element, creating the next Avatar.
Being a mom of these two is a blast.
Even when it comes to potty training. Whether it takes a year (Canaan) or three days (Shiloh), as long as the end result is poop in the potty so I don't have to clean it up anymore, I'm in it for the long haul.
I'm incredibly thankful that God has blessed me with the health and ability to live life with my family. I wouldn't want to miss these moments--sisters on the fence looking at the deer.
Or dying their hair in the bathtub, hoping they look like Barbie in Mermaidia.
Or St. Patty's day when the leprechaun mysteriously snuck into our house to give them gold coins that happened to look just like the ones from a year ago but also quickly vanished so no one actually got to eat them.
But unfortunately, there are some moms who miss out on all this. Whether that mom is sick, mentally not capable, gone due to custody issues, or literally is never coming back, there are simply some mothers who are not there.
As I'm navigating motherhood without a biological mother, I'm realizing that the role of Mom is one of the most vital roles a woman could ever partake in, and is also a role that will never be absent from your life.
While I didn't have much time to get to know my mother's personality, it's the role I miss most.
Do my kids act like me when I was young? What was your first thought when we were born? How did you navigate the temper tantrums I had?? I would love for her to know her granddaughters. I would love for her to see me as a mom. I would love for her to see Tim as a dad.
And so I realize that while I have many wonderful mothers (my Aunt Beth, my mother-in law Jill, my step-mother Kathryn, my mom's sisters, even my dad), I still remember and miss my own mother, 27 years later.
Which makes me believe that the ROLE of being a mother is infinitely more important than WHO you are as a mother. Whether we loose our patience, or yell at our kids, or sit them in time out for smearing mud on the walls, or the nice things in your house are broken, all those mistakes we make become small in the light of WHAT you are.
Their mother. Our character can always change, who we are will hopefully always be improving, but the role we play as a mother supersedes our weaknesses as a person.
And we are blessed to announce I'll be a mother again in November!