This I Believe
My three year old daughter was seated in church when the following question was asked during the Sunday School discussion: “Who makes mistakes?” Hands began to fly into the air with answers such as “my brother, my sister,” and “I do.” When someone responded that mommies make mistakes, I laughed to hear the sweet answer: “Mommies don’t make mistakes. They just make dinner.” Unfortunately, moms do make mistakes–probably even more than they make dinner. Still I believe in mothers and that, as a spiritual teacher once said, “The hand that rocks the cradle has the power to rock the nations.”
I remember asking my mother, who stayed at home with me and my three siblings, what she had wanted to do when she grew up because in my mind, there just had to be something more to do with one’s life than “just be a mom.” Yet that was her reply to
me–she had always wanted to be a mom and raise good children. Not until I had children of my own did I begin to understand the rewards of motherhood.
Like my own mom, I now believe that there is no greater gift to give the world than happy, productive children. With four children ages 6 and under, our mornings begin early. From my bedroom as I get ready for the day, I can hear Raffi music blaring in the background, intermixed with the sound of our six-year old practicing the piano. I hear the two-year old shriek with delight while riding the spring-horse with the four year-old. Our littlest one coos on the bed. And I believe in it. I believe in the noise our children make and in life being lived every minute. I believe in hugs and kisses, in stories on laps, and in chocolate chip cookies.
Sometimes it’s easy to doubt if the role I play in my children’s lives is truly essential; clearly I could hire someone else to take my place. What do 5 loads of clean and folded laundry mean anyway? Must I be the sole wiper of runny noses as well as the full-time queen driver of the family minivan? Could not I find someone else to take care of these tiring, tiny details of my children’s lives?
Moments of doubt do creep in but in the end I must admit that yes, I must be the sole wiper of noses. I’m the one who loves my babies best. To me their noise is a beautiful harmony to the song of my life. I am content to be a mother, to give away part of my best years to my children in hopes that they will live their best lives possible. I believe in motherhood and I believe that my influence in my children’s lives is the greatest gift I can offer the world. And so I will continue to rock that cradle. In this I believe.
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