Mother’s day, like holidays and birthdays, are fraught with expectations on all sides. Mother’s who have martyred themselves their whole lives expect to be made to feel extra loved today (of all days) when what would have been more appropriate is for those mother’s to have not sacrificed their own needs only to now have unrealistic expectations of their loved ones for this day. No one wins. Showing mothers love, kindness, and respect all year would be better for everyone.
My greatest adventure, challenge, and reward is being a mother. How I became a mother was far from the normal baby-arrival preparations. Like all mothers whose babies arrive early or with complications that send them to the NICU there is an eyes-wide-open moment when you are faced with how vulnerable we all are. The gift of becoming a mother to a baby born too early is that you will never take even the simplest of moments for granted. My 26-weeker just passed his eye exam at the DMV while applying for a driver’s permit. My heart is full.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mother’s I know. Once upon a time when I was surfing the web for some preemie-mom support I found this below. Enjoy!
The Special Mother
Motherhood The Second Oldest Profession
Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures and a couple by habit. This year thousands of mothers will give birth to a premature baby. Did you ever wonder how mothers of preemies are chosen?
Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.
“Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron saint, Matthew.
“Forest, Majorie, daughter. Patron saint, Ceceila.
“Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron saint… give her Gerard. He’s used to profanity.
Finally, He passes a name to an angel and smiles, “Give her a premature baby.”
The angel is curious. “Why this one, God? She’s so happy.”
“Exactly, “ smiles God. “Could I give a premature baby a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel.”
“But does she have patience?” asks the angel.
“I don’t want her to have too much patience, or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she’ll handle it.
“I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence that are so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I’m going to give her has his own world. She has to make it live in her world and that’s not going to be easy.”
“But, Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you.”
God smiles, “No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.”
The angel gasps, “Selfishness? Is that a virtue?”
God nods. “If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally, she’ll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child who comes in a less than perfect way. She doesn’t realize it yet, but she is to be envied.
“She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says ‘Mommy’ for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. When her child sees green grass or fall colors with perfect vision she will know that it is nothing less than amazing. When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations.
“I will permit her to see clearly the things I see – ignorance, cruelty, prejudice – and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.”
“And what about her patron saint?” asks the angel, the pen poised in mid-air.
God smiles. “A mirror will suffice.”
Enjoy this day and every day on this note:
There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as if everything is.
-Albert Einstein (fellow preemie)