There are storms brewing in the Midwest. Big, ugly ones. Hurtful ones. This morning I watched a news report about how a young mother responded to a tornado at her doorstep. I imagine my life being pressed under such circumstances and wonder how I might respond. We all get the chance, I suppose, to think it through and question what we might do if a twister were bearing down on us. Who we are is brought to light in the flash of lightening that illuminates a dark, dark moment. We all hope that the best of ourselves is present in trying situations. But we worry it won’t be.
Mother’s love. It’s universally accepted that a mom’s instinctive passion regarding her children is one of the most powerful forces of nature. I guess this is true, when you consider the force of the enemy challenging this young mom. (CLICK HERE FOR STORY)
We visited David’s courtroom today for one of the more joyful aspects of his job as a state court judge. Our good friends Kevin and Shannon Day were finalizing the adoption of their son Rider. Besides their little son Rider, they have almost-three year old Layla, who was adopted, and one month old Owen, who came skipping along from heaven through Shannon just as they were selected by the birth mother to adopt Rider. Shannon was seven months pregnant while she also had a newborn. So they have three kids under three all of a sudden. And they are the perfect parents for this! At one point the judge (Dave) asked Kevin to tell him something he has learned about Shannon in the last few months. Kevin began to speak, then paused, his throat tight with emotion, his arms cradling his little dark haired boy. We all felt our throats tighten and tears spring from the corners of our eyes as we listened.
“I have always had an unusual amount of respect for mothers. And I have loved Shannon. But seeing how she has dealt with this wonderful trial of motherhood has been so moving, and she is amazing to me.”
Wonderful trial. Sounds like an oxymoron.
Motherhood is a wonderful, blessed trial. He is wise beyond his years to understand this. We mothers would also do well to remind ourselves that this mothering thing is not designed to be always fulfilling, and we are not always instinctively blessed to know how to handle our children.
But we do love them. Fiercely. And we hurt in order to help them, more often than people realize.
The children of the woman in this news report will always have that visual and tactile memory of their mother shielding them, saving them from sure destruction.
What most children will not remember are the other ways their mothers lay down atop them and shield them. Instead they claim suffocation under the weight of their parents’ demands:
Do your homework. Now!
No, you cannot have mac and cheese for dinner tonight. You had it last night and the night before, and as a matter of fact the night before that.
Go shovel the Driveway before Dad gets home. I know you’re tired. So is he.
Yes, I do want you to dance with that girl over there. I don’t care if you like her. One dance will help her sense of belonging more than it will hurt yours.
Sorry, even if you’re not tired you have to go to bed.
Sorry, even if you’re tired you have to get up.
Nope, you can do better. Try again.
You’ve given it all you have, now move on.
What? You want the car keys? Prove I can count on you at home before I let you out on the road!
Yup, you’re coming with us to Grandma’s for dinner.
Nope, you’re not getting a tattoo.
Yes, I’d rather you leave the house right now because you are emitting such bad vibes; nonetheless, you’re staying right here because you broke the curfew and this is our pre-determined consequence. (those blasted consequences!)
Don’t give up. You cannot quit the team. Push through and try to be happy about it.
I won’t give you the money, but I’ll give you a way to earn it.
We lay ourselves like sacrificial lambs on the altar of our stewardship, hoping against all odds that what we are doing is for the greater good. And rarely do our children see our struggle. They’ll have to be parents themselves to see it.
Storms, whether they are driven by the atmosphere of the earth or the home, will always plague us. And mothers will shield their little chicks under wing, even at the peril of their own lives. Out of love or duty, it’s our wonderful trial to bear.