For the second time since becoming a mother, I will celebrate Mother’s Day without my one and only child, my son in whom I am well pleased.
After he married, he lived close enough to our house for more than 14 years. Not so now. He moved miles away in 2011, taking his sweet wife and his three children, our only grandchildren. I have not gotten over it yet. I don’t think I will.
I’m aware that many moms do not get to spend Mother’s Day with their children. Bear with me. I am still trying to adjust to it.
My thoughts are on my son this day, the babe in my arms, the toddler waking in the middle of the night, the boy riding his bike saying, “Watch me, Mom,” the teenager taking the car alone for the first time as I stand at the window and pray for him, the man who took a wife with all its responsibilities, the young father who made me a grandmother.
I think of him with tenderness. The struggles of parenting don’t matter any more. I just remember the joy of being his mom.
His birth changed my life forever in ways he will never know. But I will always thank God for it.
My very first Mother’s Day picture was taken in 1973 while I was about 8 months pregnant. The handsome man beside me is my Sweet William. I was full, like the moon. My belly was big, my smile was bigger. My hair looked stupid – it was the 1970’s.
Big as a barrel and happy about it. I loved wearing maternity clothes and sewed most of them myself. People thought I was having a girl by the way I carried the baby. One friend told me she could not imagine me with a boy; it had to be a girl. Did she think I was I too prissy to mother a boy?
Yet a boy child is what the Lord gave us.
And what a joy that boy was, a tiny little found-faced creature. I felt the weight of the world as the nurse placed him in my arms the first time. How was it possible that the Lord Almighty had entrusted this tiny helpless human being, this everlasting soul to Bill and me? I knew nothing about rearing a child except what I had seen my own parents do. They did it so well. So I tried to do it like they did. I failed often.
I was cross too many times. I expected a lot. I doled out punishment when I could have given more grace. I should have played more and cleaned less. I wanted to be such a perfect mother. But I was not. I did what I thought was best. It wasn’t always.
Oh, but I loved that boy with all my heart, and I prayed to be a good mother. The Father took the feebleness of my efforts coupled with my prayers, and miraculously made a fine man from my tattered efforts. What a great miracle that He took what little I had to offer and redeemed it to create something good and wonderful.
I wish I had understood more and acted differently when Travis was small, growing up, emerging into a teenager, becoming a man. I wish I could undo some events and wash away others. But alas, the days have gone by and I am left with the memories of them.
My son grew to be a good man. He adores his wife, loves and plays with his children. He takes his role as provider and spiritual leader seriously. He loves the Father above and seeks to do His will.
I’m thankful for grace that accomplished much with what I gave to this son of mine. I call him my Son of Consolation because he brightened my darkness and lightened my heart. Truth be told, he has done more for me than I think I ever did for him.
To my son I would say: Never could I have imagined the joy, the pain, the surprises, the laughter, the delight, the tears, the wakeful nights or the fun-filled days of being your mom. You are a treasure to my heart. Though the birth cord was cut when you were born, the cord that connects my heart to yours is never severed.
I love you, son.