Have you ever thought about the birth process, and how priceless it is? A lot of people think of the blood, sweat, and tears as gory and the thought may even make them nauseous, and I totally get that. But the process itself – gory or not – well, it’s what got us all here, right?
I am, of course, writing this because very recently I became (dare I say it?) a GRANDMOTHER. It’s not the precious little bundle of joy that makes me cringe when I hear that name. It’s the name itself. I have always pictured a sweet little old blue-haired lady with a cane and thick glasses who says things like, “Wait for Granny, Dears! You know my dentures fall out when I try to keep up with you whipper-snappers!” And let me tell you, Folks, if you don’t know already: That is NOT me. Well, sometimes I have blue hair, but it is often in streaks and under some kind of turbi, hat, or ‘do-rag, and accompanied by a new Jesus tattoo and cute-but-crazy-accessories. GRANNY SHE IS NOT FOR ME. Nope. My name is She. So The Daughts decided SheShe would be appropriate and quite suiting. And I agree with her.
But I digress. Back to birthing. I sat in a different place altogether when Sage Ellie was born a little under a month ago as opposed to when my own children were born: not only a place where I could see the brilliance of a baby being born, but a different perspective. My baby was having a baby. And she had fought a long, hard battle of the game called life to get where she landed, and I knew she was going to make a wonderful mommy.
But what about me as a mommy; as a parent to my own children? Had I done enough? Did I show enough love? Did I discipline enough? Was there a balance? Had I given it my best shot? I knew I had made my fair share of mistakes, but were they mistakes that could not be undone or even forgiven? Would they scar my children enough to sully the joy of being a parent themselves? Believe it or not, as she labored, I saw my life with them flash before my eyes and was truly pondering those thoughts and at least a thousand more.
And then came a different moment. The moment The Daughts handed me comfort and hope that I had done well thus far: she gave me a hand-written letter from-her-to-me. The nurse had asked us all to step out – “all” meaning The Son-In-Law, The Hubster (now referred to as PoPo by The Grand Daughts), and me. Just before piling out of the room for a few minutes, she handed one to each of us. It helped me to muster up an ounce of faith even before I looked at it. We sat in silence in the waiting area, privately reading the words she had thoughtfully penned.
As I read through my tears, in the back of my memory bank, thoughts of hand-made helicopter-sized hair bows in her fine, wavy locks as a two-year-old came to mind. I thought of laying her little head down in my lap when she was five after her bath to floss her teeth for her and how absolutely sweet and lavender-like she smelled. I thought of the time she had chicken pox and I put mittens on her hands so she wouldn’t scratch. The thoughts of singing together each and every Thanksgiving in front of friends and family and hearing her sweet, natural harmonies pierced my heart with joy. Standing outside the kindergarten door the entire day where she couldn’t see me but I could see her to make sure she was all right on the first day of school reached out to me. I remembered her telling me she wanted Jesus in her heart.
But coupled with those thoughts were the times I cried myself to sleep because we had screamed at each other for an entire afternoon. I felt a strong hurt at remembering the time I lost my temper to a sincere breaking point, and thought if I could go back how differently I would handle that moment. I was brought back to a time of desperation because I could not connect with my teenage daughter, no matter how hard I tried, and thinking what a failure I was as a parent. It shattered me, as I was almost positive it had her, as well.
And then this (don’t worry, Readers. I checked with her first to make sure she didn’t mind if I share):
“Mom, you have always been there for me and through the years have become my best friend. I’m so excited to make you a SheShe today!
You have taught me to love without ceasing and without fear. My whole life you have been preparing me for motherhood by the example you have set for my life. I just didn’t know it until I started thinking about the mom I wanted to be to Sage.
Thank you for loving me like you do. I cannot wait to watch your relationship with Sage grow through the years. I am so thankful to know that I will lean on you as I set my own examples for Sage. <3
I love you, Mom, and I’m so thankful for you.
XOXO – Chelsea”
That, to me……was PRICELESS.
So perhaps at the end of the day, you are second-guessing if your best is even good enough. Or maybe you feel like a failure at something and that shatters you. In this one life we have been given, nestled amongst the good will always be the bad. Without those times, we will not grow; we will not learn to love without ceasing and without fear. So we MUST value those times as well and know that life is good, even when it isn’t. If we have truly given it our best and have had even an ounce of faith, the reward will be the way you see it returned to you…..and that – IS PRICELESS.