Monday, September 9, 2013

Happy Birthday Mama!

Tomorrow is my mama's 63rd birthday.  And as I sit here and think about her and how sad I am that I will miss it, again, I cannot help but smile.  For those of you that know my mama you know that there are a couple of things about her that are undeniable.  First and foremost, she loves being a mama and she is GOOD at it.  Secondly, the woman is nuts.  She is, there is no way around it. And honestly, she would have to be to be able to do half of the things that she does for her husband, children and grandchildren.  She's just flat out crazy which most of the time benefits us (occasionally it's a little scary). 

It's so much easier to appreciate your mama when you become one.  And the older your kids get the more you understand why your mom was a little nutzo and why the language that she used as you were growing up (which you deemed inappropriate when your first child was born) seems so appropriate now.  What we expect of our moms day to day pales in comparison to what we expect of them over a lifetime.  How any mothers live past 60 is beyond me.  How their bodies and minds could possibly hold up through parenting children 24/7 for 30 years or more is incredible.  I am 5 years in and I am certain making it to 40 will be a miracle.  I think about mom and how there are a few things about BEING a mom that she left out.  A few things that it might have been nice to know a few things that may or may not have swayed my decision to bear my own but at the end of the day would have been appropriate to share. I felt that making a list of some of those things for my girls was a good idea.  So here it goes:

1) As a mom you will never ever ever pee alone again.  Ever.
2) If you THINK locking the door will take care of number 1, you are wrong. 
3) Go ahead and buy a home with a shower that has no door because privacy is not an option.
4) Yes Ma'am usually means please shut up rather than Yes ma'am.
5) Go ahead and start practicing pooping in front of a crowd now.
6) Every day you think "this is the tough part" you are wrong.
7) Sleeping will never be the same, nor will it be easy.
8) Just because you no longer have a baby in diapers does not mean you no longer have a butt to wipe.
9) Go ahead and add an unlimited texting plan to your baby registry because talking on the phone is not an option.
10) Enjoy your breasts because after the first baby they will never look like that again.
11) Multitasking is a must.
12) Get used to eating cold food.
13) Get used to eating only half of what is on your plate.
14) Even if you marry a man that is awesome, they will still insist you do 90% of everything they need.
15) Never say never because God thinks that is funny. 
16) Go ahead and wear callouses on your knees now so they are ready for the following: tying shoes, praying endlessly, buttoning coats, pants and shirts, cleaning out from under beds, cleaning up spills, kissing boo boos, braiding hair, wiping tears, making things VERY clear, pulling up dance tights, playing ring around the rosey, and about 1000 other things they will be needed for daily.
17) The daddy will always get the credit no matter how many times it was your idea.  So marry a man you like enough to let him have it. 
18) If they hear it they will repeat it.
19) They think they know more than you BEFORE they can talk.
20) No matter how much you try to teach them manners they WILL forget and they WILL embarrass you.
21) Don't underestimate the power of chocolate.
22) Just because you knew it when you were 5 doesn't mean they give a rip about it. 
23) They will tell you that you are mean, you are wrong, you have ruined their day and they don't love you all before kindergarten. 
24) Their safety and health will be the two things most difficult to give to Jesus and the two things that you BEG Him for daily.
25) Not until they are grown and out of your home will they realize how incredible you are.  And it is then that you will realize you would do it all again and that privacy and sleeping is overrated.

There is nothing better in the world than being a mama and I can say that because I know it and because I was raised by a woman that agrees with it 100%.  I think of the things that I have expected of her over the years and I cringe knowing that my time is just beginning and I pray that I am as capable as she was.  We want them to kiss our boo boos but we expect them to give us the freedom to jump.  We want them to trust us but we ask them to mind their own business.  We want them to come to our rescue but when they get there we expect them to stand out of the way.  We need them when we are sick but keep our distance when we are well.  We tell them when we are angry or hurt but expect them to stay neutral.  I am guilty of all of this and expect nothing but the same of my girls, knowing that I will get it.

I remember being in recovery right after Josie was born. My mom was there and I woke up.  Here I was right our of an emergency c section with my sweet tiny one where one or both of us could have easily gone to see Jesus.  There stood my mom beside me crying.  I woke up and looked at her and I said "mama could you please stop crying?". Yep.  I sure did.  Of course I understood why she was crying!! Of course I understood why she was scared and sad and possibly as helpless as she had ever been as a mom. My request, while ridiculous and selfish, was genuine.  I needed my mom and I needed her to stop crying.  Why? Because if she was scared that meant I needed to be scared.  And if she was worried that meant it was time for me to be worried.  And for a moment before all hell broke loose in my world, before the medicine wore off, before I saw my tiny baby girl, I needed to feel like everything was OK.  And so she dried her eyes and held my hand.  Said nothing.  Just stood there.  Just as I needed her too.  She probably did not know until now that I remembered that. But I do.  And of all of the things my mom has done for me in my lifetime, and she has done some amazing things, that was the single most selfless thing she has ever done.  The perfect example of being a mother and what it entails and the sacrifice it takes.  I will never forget it. 

Happy Birthday  mama.  You are one of the kindest, craziest, most selfless mamas Jesus ever made.  I miss you, I love you, and I know I won't get it exactly right but just like you, it will not be for lack of trying!!! ;) 

Melanie Shea