We all had to have one. There’s no other way to come into the world except through a mother, as far as I know. My own mother has now gone to her reward. She lived over 90 years, had four children, eleven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren at the time of her death. I remember that when I was young, she used to think she would die “any day now” but I think it was wishful thinking at the time, inspired by her stressful circumstances. As we kids grew up and moved away from home, it became apparent that Mom grew younger each year and enjoyed life a lot more.
What I’m getting at here is that motherhood is not a job for the faint of heart. Being a mother is hard work, emotionally taxing, and often thankless. For the most part, its joys are camouflaged by sleepless nights, toilet training, and keeping teenage hormones under control. Until the kids have left home, mothers barely have enough time for potty breaks, let alone time to sift through each day’s crisis to spot a few bright seconds.
At some point–hopefully after the children have left home–grandchildren start appearing. And amazingly, so do those long-buried memories of unadulterated joy we experienced from our child’s happy giggles, gentle hugs, and sticky-fingered caresses. One by one they step forward and salute us.
Grandchildren, says a popular bumper sticker, are a parent’s reward for not strangling the children. Although ghoulish, the saying brings a knowing smile from us because we understand that while motherhood is often a test of our patience, self-control, and restraint, grandparenthood is not a test; it is pure pleasure. We see our grandchildren from a different perspective and are free to simply enjoy them. We can be friend, confidante, cookie-maker, and Santa Clause to our grandchildren. It’s now up to our children (their parents) to lose sleep, toilet train them, and worry about hormones.
If you’re blessed, Mothers, you will watch (in awe) as your self-centered adolescent daughter morphs into a self-sacrificing mother. She will rise to the challenges of motherhood, pass each test, and raise creative, productive, God-fearing children. One day she may even be known as the mother of the Prime Minister of Canada. Hold on a minute. After she’s elected, you’ll be known as the mother of the Prime Minister of Canada! It could happen.
The older I get, the more I realize that life is not so much a circle as a continuous line of generations, connected one to another. We may not see more than three or four in our lifetimes, but that’s enough to show us that life went on long before we arrived, and will continue long after we leave–until God decides to wrap it all up. My mother pointed that out to me in her last few years of life. At the time, I didn’t understand it the way she did. I’m beginning to. And today, on Mother’s Day, I thank God for a wise, caring, and faithful mother and two lovely daughters who have, in turn, given me five exceptional grandchildren. My cup runneth over.