When I first saw this mug, I was so terribly amused. “I must have this,” I thought. It’s frivolity not only tickled me when I thought about the seemingly usual madness of so many of my days, it was a gentle reminder that I must never forget the little people. As I peered at it today, though, I thought about it in a deeper way. I began to recall things – about my life, theirs, and so many other moms, and it compelled a rather distinctive appreciation and awareness about some suppositions that have proven to be true.
While I ultimately cherish many things from my childhood, there were more moments than I care to remember that were bitterly heartbreaking. Many things occurred that were beyond my control, some so inexplicably painful that I’d never put them in print – though they are indelibly etched in my memory. Nevertheless, it occurred to me that in many of those instances, my mother may have felt them far more acutely than I did. I saw her tears, felt her aches, grieved her losses – and yet, I could never have understood to the depth of which it left her scarred…but, she always endeavored to “keep the tiny humans alive…“
On her hardest days, I remember seeing her keep her chin up; search for encouraging words for me when her world was clearly upside down. When she had little to nothing, she gave everything she had to give me – and my siblings – whatever she could summon. So intent was she on caring for us that she quite regularly gave when their seemed nothing left to pull from; but, isn’t that what countless women have done for the children they love? So sacrificial. So kind. Compassionate, generous, brave.
Returning to my own present, I thought of the hardships I’ve endured in adulthood. In motherhood, it felt so much more arduous. Not only would my losses be a personal quandary, but now, if I’m hurting, I must consider my children. I thought about the unfortunate events that plagued me at different times in my life – financial losses, misunderstandings, emotional despair, opportunities missed – and so many more. I endeavored to endure it with the same chin up I’d seen for my whole life, but as I grappled with my own reconciliation, I thought first of my own objective, “keep the tiny humans alive...”
On my worst days, especially those where I felt filled to the brim with hopelessness, I couldn’t help but imagine what would happen to my little ones (even the bigger ones), if I didn’t hang in there. What would happen if I wasn’t there when they needed me most? What would they do if I couldn’t make it? Couldn’t be there? How would they feel if they thought I was utterly hurt or helpless or perhaps, met a most untimely end? Those thoughts were unbearable.
So, despite the days that come around that leave me feeling deflated, I remind myself that I am here for many purposes – four in particular that range from four to fifteen. I have many lessons left to teach. Tears to shed, both happy and sad. I have games to attend, lectures to give, many hugs to amass and with His grace, many beautiful bonds to make between my hearts and theirs. Moms are connected to their children in the most miraculous of ways. After sharing space with them from deep within our wombs for nearly a year, we are privileged to have them in our hearts for an eternity.
Sometimes, I wish I had all the answers to life. There are other times that I am gracious that I don’t because it occurred to me one day, that not every true answer is an easy one to swallow. What I do know, is that sacrificing for my children comes so naturally that I better understand how my mother was able to do it for me.
Survival is important for us both – because there are so many bridges for us to traverse together. I wait with anticipation to see how their lives will unfold, and I pray for them daily that it will be everything intended for their good. It is difficult at times, as I wrestle through many personal challenges of my own – but, as long as I’m able, I will do my very best, to keep these tiny humans alive. I think I’m able to muster the strength because of a little something called love.
#brownboys #michaelfitzgerald #christopherjosiah #isaiahjeremiah #jonathanpaul #myheartbeats #mytinyhumans #aregettingbiggerthanme #buttheywillalwaysbemybabies #foreverloves #literacylove #carlamichelle