As a mother you never know what is right around the next corner. It is like a tornado sneaking in across the plains of Oklahoma. All is calm in your life and then in an instant it is turned upside down. As a mother, I have endured some unexpected life occurrences in the past 12 days. Some have been good and some not so good; but I can say “Thank You” to the good Lord above, that none of them were so severe that they couldn’t be repaired.
As a mother of three boys I feel that we should have (not to coin a phrase from Disney World) a FastPass to the emergency room. My baby, who just turned two, was casually walking across the parking lot, tripped and ended up with a rock in his forehead; and after much discussion between my husband and I — him not thinking it was too severe, and myself knowing the size of rock that came out of his head — ended up in the E.R. resulting in two stitches.
Shortly thereafter, our oldest ended up in the dental chair for over four hours, having his two front teeth reshaped, rebuilt, and molded to emulate his beautiful former, and might I add, permanent teeth. He knocked out about 75 percent of his two front teeth after losing a wrestling match to a bean bag chair and two buddies, and of course our tile floor. But as I mentioned, thank goodness, both of these mishaps were completely mendable.
However, the next episode in our lives recently has been the fact that my boys are all growing up. This is something that this mommy doesn’t take lightly or deem plausible at times. But our middle son is now old enough to play T-ball, and he is absolutely loving it. He is really aggressive and competitive, and will run clear across the field to grab the ball to tag someone out. It is humorous to me to see just how different your children can be. My oldest has always loved sports and wanted to be involved, but he was the kid standing in the outfield picking up daisies and making shapes with them. But our middle child will plow through the field to tag his opponent out without any concern that he took out five teammates along the way. So I wait with anxiousness to see what my third boy will “bring to the show.”
But when you make that decision to become a mother, you never realize that it will be the hardest job you never knew. You aren’t told that you will never again be able to relax again for even a second in your life in concern for their whereabouts, their safety or their well being. You will never again be able to walk into a movie theater and enjoy two hours of complete silence and relaxation, because you won’t allow yourself to completely shut your phone off. As a mother there is not a second goes by that you aren’t on call.
There isn’t a turn of your car key that doesn’t send chills up your spine, whether you are in your car alone or your car is filled with all your babies; for fear that you might or might not return home safely and able to resume life is as it should be, and always has been. All of these little factors that you once took for granted are now major life-altering decisions that could change the fate of your life and that of your family’s forever.
We shouldn’t live in fear for the rest of our lives for the “what if” factor, but becoming a mother makes you more aware of your life and the world around you.
There are so many outlying facets that affect your world after you hold that bundle of joy in your arms and watch them grow up — issues that you wouldn’t even think about before you gain the title of mother. Like when you look down at your stomach and see your skin shining in the light from the glorious stretch marks or C-section scar — you don’t view them as a form of depreciation to your body, but as badges of honor and a testament to what you sacrificed for that little person.
Or the fact that your relationship with your husband will never be the same again, you will gain strength where you never thought possible, and the things that were once important are absolutely meaningless now. He will now do things for you or your baby that you would never have thought romantic nine months earlier, but now you see them as the most genuine selfless acts you’ve ever seen one human being do for another — like take the trash out without being asked.
The honor of parenthood and motherhood changes your world in so many ways. You learn to calm yourself in the midst of a crisis to ease the fear and uncertainty your little one is having to endure, when on the inside you are absolutely screaming and sobbing inside hoping that all will be right again in their little world. You learn to hear words you might not want to acknowledge or admit to coming from your teenager’s mouth, but the importance of maintaining that bridge of communication is the most important bond you will ever battle to maintain; and the ability to accept your child for their strengths, weaknesses and errors and love them unconditionally.
As a mother you learn to turn a blind eye to things you would never be able to ignore in your previous life. So to all the daughters, mothers and mothers-to-be — you must remember your life will never be the same. Your heart will be exposed for the rest of your life, but you must remain the rock in their lives and comfort them when they need comforting. But you must learn to give them wings and fly when they are ready to see the world for themselves. That release will be the most painful thing you will have to do as a mother, aside from an unspeakable tragedy which I hope no mother has to endure. They must see the world and life through their eyes, not yours. Their way may be different than how you would do it, but that doesn’t mean it’s the wrong way.
Remember to love your child in their entirety, not just their attributes, because in the end they make you a better, stronger person.
Samantha Stroube-Daviss is a Daily Sun columnist. Her column appears on Saturdays. She may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read her blog at samantha-daviss.blogspot.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? E-mail: email@example.com