On the night table next to my bed is a little framed photo of my "kidlets" when they were about 10 and 12 1/2, sprucing up in front of the foyer mirror before leaving for church. it is many times the first thing i see when i open my eyes in the morning, and i'm completely struck with awe almost every time, at just how fast the years have sped by since that photo was taken. the son of my daughter is now the same age that she was in this precious photo! my mind simply has great difficulty registering that fact.
i remember when they were tiny babes and i SO loved holding them in my lap and cuddling them with JOY unspeakable! i remember the pangs when they soon struggled to be free from my embrace and preferred walking (then soon running) around, running to my arms only when they needed comfort. i remember when i'd watch them play outside as i had a difficult time walking away from the window, as if by keeping them in my sight, they were still metaphorically and emotionally in my lap. oh, and the separation i felt when they spent their entire day in school, under the guidance of others, who i just knew couldn't possibly care for them, love them and teach them, as i did. then off to college, off into the world, off to living their lives...it was all so right, and followed the pattern intended.
i was the one, as mother who LOVED mothering as i do, who experienced the growing pains. yet with each pain, there was also the JOY of knowing it was as it was meant to be. suppose they still were cuddled in my lap, clinging to me with no ambition to walk on their own? suppose they had no schooling? what if they never stepped out on their own, following their pursuits in life, living their hopes and dreams, demonstrating their talents, finding their own JOY in life? then, the growing part would be removed and only the pain part would remain. growth is a natural process, a spiritual process; it is good even when sometimes it hurts. the tears it sometimes brings are just outpourings of overwhelming, overflowing love in our heart. they are good tears, cleansing tears, tears of JOY at the wonder and speed of growth.
so, this morning, as my eyes opened and settled on that favorite photo of my "little ones" i just re-JOY-ced at how thankful i am to have held them in my lap then and now in my heart, as i celebrate the JOY of their growth and my being their mother and a grandmother. it only took 9 short months to become a mother; the JOY it has brought me lasts infinitely and eternally. why wait til May to celebrate? as we always say, "EVery day is mother's day!"