Let's see, we left off with the question and the promise to answer. As I write, I promise you that my supermom cape was worn, torn, and tossed in the trash long ago. I realized that I could never be this character that was created in my mind which I claim was under the influence of the media and Martha Stewart! My perfect mom character lived in my daydreams where she would amaze my kids and all others!
Like Martha, I would be in my craft room building the next valentine box while pretending my child did it. There I would begin thinking that I'd be discovered and a movie would be made about me, or a book, a mommy blog, a product line, a cook-book, all this and the talk-show circuit too or wait...my own "HOW-TO" show! That's it! I'd walk out in my signature apron with the supermom logo to greet my celebrity guests that would cook, craft, or do some DIY projects with me looking fresh as a daisy! I would not be that mom that dropped her kids off to school in sweats and wet-hair. She was the real me not the one in my daydream. I was the one that looked at the alarm clock like, "Seriously, didn't I just fall asleep, are you kidding me?" Which leads me to ask why is there a snooze button? Is five extra minutes going to make me wake up and exclaim,"Wow do I feel refreshed now! Whew, thank God for those five minutes...Hello World! What a glorious morning!
But as a parent, you don't simply have a responsibility, you OWN the responsibility of those children. You are a parent not a babysitter! It's not an option! Love for those children enforces every action regardless of what or how you feel at any given moment. The moment you have baby number one, you just became number two. You will always be the background to their foreground and will give up the stage easily and naturally. Love becomes greater and you find that your needs and wants diminish in light of these little ones who are helpless without you. It's why you find yourself functioning on nominal sleep, eating whatever whenever, and looking at yourself in the mirror mysteriously wondering what happened to that "fresh as a daisy" face and who the heck is this staring back at you! Suddenly, going out to dinner or a night out seems unappealing and you discover you'd rather be with this wonderful creature that has captivated you...every ounce of you.
This little one belongs to me. This life belongs to me. In turn my little one must feel, "I belong to her and she belongs to me...for awhile, my life is in her hands....I feel safe."
Through my words and actions I inform my child of my love and reinforce it by offering all that I am and all that I have to give. In their experience, this mommy or daddy person is their provider and if they have a need all they have to do is cry and we don't just walk, we run to see what the need is and then fulfill it. So little baby is thinking,"Hey, this is a pretty good gig here, I don't need to do much at all to get attention and they watch me when I sleep so I'll pretend to smile since that sends them over the moon and I always hear them say I'm some word called adorable!"
Babies have a sense of who mommy and daddy are, and I don't want to sound weird, but unconditional love is God-love and it's such a force that I believe a child can sense the difference. If you think I'm crazy then explain all the times you've held a crying baby and handed it back to mama and it stops...hmmm!
I just gave you the clue! Why does God want us to experience something that gives us a parental perspective? Because parental love is the closest to having, walking in, acting out of and functioning in the unconditional love of God. There is no course, no counseling sessions, no methodology, no gradualism, no series, no steps, no-thing… it just comes and comes so naturally. This all-encompassing love is limited by our human ability to describe but is graciously not beyond our human ability to experience. You don't have to HAVE a child to understand God's love but can choose to BE a child to experience it...GOD'S CHILD! Once you choose, you have a beginning but there's never an ending. Once you are a parent, you're one for life and once you're a child of God, you're one for this life and a glorious eternal life. This is forever love!
To my children, I dedicated my book, Tapestry of Faith, by saying, "How do you describe this love that makes you breathe yet makes you breathless at the same time?"
It's a love that was always in my dreams.