On Mother’s Day: I’m thinking now of the baby ducks we raised and how they peeped like little birds until they grew into their adult-like “quacks.” The way the ducklings patterned each of you as their mom and followed you all over the back yard. How they quacked and quacked and quacked at the back door with separation anxiety. How the three of you cried with abandon when the first lake we released them to did not work well and you made your daddy gather all the full grown ducks back up in a flurry of panic and we drove all day until we found them a lake-home that agreed with your heart wishes for your babies 🙂
Dear Hope: You were the first to break my heart with my love for you. It was the first time I loved so “big” that it ached all the way to my toes. (not to mention the birthing soreness ;)). I had some sense of what was coming because my heart became so sensitive during pregnancy with you, the slightest touch of tenderness brought me to tears. After your birth, I did not think love could grow, until you left me for Montessori and I sat in the drive way and cried, until Ashlyn cried louder and we drove home. How you loved little ‘fuzz head duckling” with all the love in your little heart until he died. I did not think love could grow until you went on your first date, and I stood with my back against the front door, eyes closed, praying. I did not think love could grow until you made a decision against my better judgement, and I let you go willingly into free will. I did not think love could grow until, I hung up that last high school sweatshirt to dry in the laundry room and felt the weight of the world on one small hanger. I did not think love could grow, until we both climbed into heights of challenge. . .Different mountains but within sight of one another. . .And we both struggled to breathe the thin air of our lives. I did not think my love for you could grow, until I waited to hear from you and all that I knew, pressed in deeply to emboss my heart in prayer for you.
Dear Ashlyn: You were the second to break my heart with the white crown of blonde hair on your head. You came with a rush of power, and I was not officially registered as a patient in delivery before you were presented. The big love re-cycled with you to my toes and within. As with all of you, I hated to close my eyes, in the hospital for fear of missing one precious breath, one stretch of hand or one gasp of need. I did not think I could love you more,until I saw you and Hope together and watched her eyes flood with mommy inklings to come. I had to count on the Holy Spirit to pray for you at night, because I was so exhausted trying to keep up with you, that I was fast asleep before my head hit the pillow, only to wake with a start to hear the shower curtain crash to the floor! (You weren’t sleeping. You were still swinging into the twilight hours. Soon came gymnastics! I did not think I could love you more until I told the the Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears for the hundred time. I did not think I could love you more until you struggled with that floor routine one more time before a meet. I became adept at holding my breath through a routine. (Blue is not becoming on a mother’s face!) I did not think I could love you more, until you too went head strong where I dare not tread and I went to my knees with you in God’s Hands. I did not think I could love you more until you turned at the threshold of your Bama Girl life, hesitated just a moment to look at me and you were gone, taking all of my love with you. I did not think I could love you more, until the first time you came home.
Dear Megan: You were third to break my heart yet again. Love re-cycled through the experiences of Hope and Ash, only to find as new fragrance in you. Your little system was easily overwhelmed with feeding and stimulation so I bought the best baby pouch on the market and you went to school functions for Hope and Ashlyn everywhere with me. I did not think love could grow bigger until you were so close to me the top of your sweet head was always damp with warmth, but it was there the cries stopped and you found comfort. I slept with you more than any of the others. Prayers for your peace (and mine) were non-stop and you entered toddlerhood gently and quietly. You had such a quiet presence about your play in our world. I did not think love could grow bigger until I was forever checking on you, because I could not monitor your play by your sound! I did not think love could grow bigger until I had to trust other’s heart contact with you and you too went through Montessori and into the thrill of big girl school with your sisters. I did not think love could grow bigger until I watched young girlfriends wax and wan and saw you brave your way through finding the world of books to companion you. I did not think I could love you more until we could cook shoulder to shoulder without words, because you could read my mind. I did not think love could grow bigger until I saw you find your own excellence and knew you were asserting your self. I did not think love could grow bigger until you started talking about college. . .
Dear Kathleen, I loved the honor and God ordained privilege of all my pregnancies, but yours was extraordinary because I knew it was the last one. My mommy love found closure as well as new beginnings with you. I did not think my mom’s heart could stretch another hair until your sister’s loved on you and I saw God complete the circle of love He was weaving for me as as mom. It became hectic with four of you, but I was determined for my love to cover your infant hood. I would protect your babyhood at all costs. So Ms. Pauline came into our lives, as I would not leave for the grocery store or carpool until you were down for your nap. I wanted every waking moment with you! Love covered your nap times. I did not want you napping in a strapped in carseat with the disturbances of traffic and our stop and go life. Love covered your growth spurts as your sister’s put up with you, “into their stuff.” Love grew to cover and wait for you to finally learn to ride a bike. (You thought your training wheels were just fine! And frankly, so did I!) Love grew to cover the day the crib came down and we had to bar Hope outside the hall because she just was not having any part of you growing up. Love covered the transition from Montessori to Big Girl School and by now the whole school was awaiting the new sister’s arrival. The school now had it down now: Each sister was totally different in their own unique personhood and this learning community was an extension of family for all my girls. It made it easier for my growing mother love to give your days away with a trusted embrace for the whole child with all of you at ONE school: body, mind and spirit. My mommy love is still growing to cover coming events, like boy/girl dances and summer Pine Cove Camp. Love covers paths tread by previous footsteps in sisterhood more smoothly and completely. You walk a well-worn pathway of love tried and true which will see us through as my love keeps growing to cover the unknown with and for you. . .
So dear Kingdom Girls, today is about you. Precious Banes all of you! You are all brilliant, beautiful, creative, competent, and deeply caring young women (I have no bias here. Ya’ll use to say to me, “Mom, of course, you have to say that, you are our mom!” 🙂 You have taught me more about Godly love than any word could express. You have driven my heart into the sweetest of places. You have broken false expectations to reveal the best my love has to offer yesterday, today and tomorrow. Today: I want only the simplicity of seeing you, touching you, reading your tired faces, breaking bread at home with you, snuggling with you and watching a wholesome movie that will nourish you, mind, body and soul. Just to be with the ones who taught me to love with sacrifice and reckless abandon is the greatest gift of all, for Mother’s Day. It’s Daughter’s Day. Thank you, lovies! God uses each of you in the largest of Kingdom Ways, to shape my love into something that will one day resemble His in it’s offerings to you. . .And love continues to grow with the opportunities God gives us and I embrace each one for all it’s Kingdom value into our morrows! XO Forever to each one of you! My four ducklings 😉 Much love, mom
I offer to you, Ann Voskamps’ Blog on mothers. It expresses, big love, deep love and a mother’s heart that covers the life of her children in God’s Hands.
Welcome Readers: Switzerland 🙂