When Magoo was a baby, I used to rock her and sing Church songs to her because those were the only ones my jumbled head could think up. I’ve told her this many times, and I’ve told her frequently how those are my favorite songs to hear at Church.
About a month ago, she came running out of school, and she told me that I absolutely must go to Mass on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary because they were practicing Mary songs to sing. And she has been reminding me constantly since.
Then last night I realized that it was close to impossible to go to Mass in the morning and still get Mae to my sister’s to watch her while I took Goose 40 minutes in the other direction for her very first ever field trip.
And so when she woke up this morning, I broke the news to Magoo, and I asked her to listen especially hard for me, so I could feel like I was there. She looked a bit sad, but she went on to get ready.
A couple of minutes later, she walked in to my room with tears on her cheeks. She told me she really didn’t want to go to school today because she misses me so much. She has told me this multiple times over the past couple of weeks.
And I thought back. The last couple of weeks have been tough. I’ve had multiple appointments and meetings in the evening, keeping me away for a bit up to three times a week.
And I looked back down on her, and I looked in her eyes, and I promised her I would be at church this morning even if I had to leave early. Her eyes smiled again, but she was still a bit down and lonely.
When she gets home in a little bit, I get to tell her that I have cancelled my meeting for this evening and am going to stay home and sew with her and her sister.
I’m not sure if either she or her sisters knows this little secret I keep in my heart, but basically, if there is absolutely anything I can do to make them feel loved and important, I will do it as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else or threaten to spoil or overindulge them.
Being a mom can be so absolutely overwhelming at times. Three people are constantly talking to me and asking me things all at the same time. They each talk more and more loudly so as to be able to talk over each other. It’s insanity.
But buried in that insanity is the realization that I am constantly overwhelmed because I am so needed.
Anyone can get them food or read them books or take care of their physical needs. Anybody can keep them safe and educate them and entertain them.
But only I can be mom.
Only I can be the one who represents comfort and home. Only I can be the touch and the smell they have known since before they even entered this world. Only I have the eyes they want to see all of their shows and games and silly little dances in the living room.
And I think that’s part of the struggle of motherhood. We realize just how much we are needed. And that is a mighty responsibility. But it’s also the most sacred of blessings.
On our wedding days, we stand before God and we promise our lives to another. It’s a holy and a sacred promise. And then on the days we are first made aware of a new life growing inside of us, we make another, unspoken vow, and we enter into another sacred union.
And that’s the beauty of family I guess. Through marriage and through parenthood, we give our lives to others. We promise ourselves to those we love most deeply.
Sometimes it’s overwhelming to me to think of how many blessings I have been given. And when I look around and feel unworthy of all of those blessings, I am reminded that the best way to say thanks for all we have been given is to give it all away.
And that’s what we do as moms. We take it all – everything we have and everything we are – and we give it away.
And in the process we gain even more back in return.
Being needed is hard. It’s demanding. It’s 24/7. But it’s also pure and it’s beautiful and it’s holy.
And it’s ours to live and ours to give.
Sometimes this world is so beautiful it’s hard to see between the tears.