And She Called Me Mommala

I started far too young in the marriage and children categories.  I walked the church aisle the first time at age eighteen and three-quarters. The picture of me on my dad's arm clearly shows my dad's face etched with internal trepidation of marrying off his youngest daughter at such a young age.  Now standing in my fifties, I sigh a bit over my choices made at far too young an age. I could not, at that age, fully grasp the enormous consequences of my decision that were to come.

I gave birth to my only child at a mere 2 weeks short of age 21. Motherhood would prove to be THE wildest, deepest love I would ever know and, Hannah was her name.    

Motherhood does not make me special. It doesn't mean I know more than others [actually it accentuates that I pretty much know nothing] or that you cannot be whole without children. Both of those are plainly and hugely false.  Mothers are mothers from all different entry points. Being a mother is simply choosing to love a child no matter the avenue of entry into your life. 

Mom love is a whole different breed of fierce, untamed love. It is a moving target kind of love as both child and parent are on their own linear growth lines. There is no manual to being a parent, or for that matter, to just being human. There are not enough annals to hold the bigness of this a-river-runs through it kind of love. It creates deep chiseled rivers that leave an empty cavern when a parent loses a child or a child loses a parent in death - inconceivably, magnitude-ally, uncontainable deep consuming grief. That is the result of love in its richest form.  

Loving a child is a weird combination of a deep corner post hole of cement and sand being pulled from underneath your feet at the very edge of the ocean.  It's this solid, never gonna stop, fierce as a lion love. Yet, a mother is loving a rapidly moving target, a transforming person - watching a butterfly emerge from a cocoon. My almost 5 year old granddaughter tells me all the time that she can't stop turning five, though her dad wants her to stay 4.  She is right. A mother's love is not meant to be contained but to be carried to our kids as they grow and eventually, go the way of their own lives.   

My daughter has made me better than I would have been without being HER mom.  All kids have the power to do that - to grow and change us.  I have loved all her phases, fades and paths to growth. She is a constant masterpiece of art being made, both seen and unseen. Being her mom far surpasses any successes, victories, defeats, failures and sorrows I've experienced. In our children we see both the best of ourselves and all our frailties converging. We carry the hope they will do better than we did with knowing themselves and living out their design.

I opened up the mail today which held yet again another Amazon package - what had I ordered this time!  A book tumbled out, The Road Back to You, An Enneagram Journey To Self-Discovery with a gift note, "Happy Mother's Day, Mom!  I'm not sure if you'll be here in Indiana for Mother's Day or not so I figured I'd send your gift now.  Love you so much!  You're my favorite mom:)"    

My daughter is very different than me in many regards and yet, eerily similar in a few.  She's the Yin to my Yang. She tells me she's an Enneagram 7 and I am an 8. She knows I think big, deep thoughts, feel too much, and that I absorb nature and the energy and emotions around me. Her gift was reflective of her know of me and made me feel loved.

The greatest joy I have is watching her journey as a woman, wife, mother, and creative entrepreneur as she progresses on her own linear line of life. I have been blessed, despite myself and my youthful choices, to have been given the gift of being Hannah's mom.

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