"I want to be a perfect mother," I said when I was young; and believe me, that seems a long time ago. But I was looking for a definition for "perfect", and one was, to bring to completion. Well, that's me. I have been brought to completion..or in other words..I HAD IT!
When my first child was born, we felt like stopping strangers on the avenue to show them our son. When our neighbors dog barked at our little one, they ran out to assure us the he liked children, and were quickly told, "Well, he can't have this one!" There were to be times in later years that we might have asked that dog if he was still interested.
After a few months of two night feedings instead of one, and when all my new perfectly white and bright baby things were stained and dull, I took a long look at myself..stained and dull...Lord, that's me.
He seems so healthy and so happy, why does he keep me up nights and then rise with the sun smiling? Does he know he can sleep all day while I wash diapers, make formula and sterilize bottles? Come on little one, let's be friends.
I guess he needed company and soon he got it. Two playmates that were full time occupants to share his room and last name. I would tell you how it went, but I make it a habit to forget bad things.
Many times the highlight of my day was to receive an offer to share a bug that was already near death from six loving hands. In their eyes, I began to be a perfect Mother.
Every child knows that a Mother is a "Professional Person". They trust you more than the doctor because they know first hand how a kiss, a prayer, and a lot of ice and bandaids have averted many trips to the Emergency Room. They have seen you practice dentistry with two strong fingers and a wet wash cloth, knowing they could save a dentist bill with the promise of a whole dollar from the "Good Fairy". Every dispute, of any size, is brought to your attention, because as lawyer and judge, your decision for "Justice" is swift and to the point, as you usually have something boiling over on the stove.
And children are just as sure you have the forgiveness of "God Himself" when they promise for the 27th time to be good (especially if Daddy is coming home).
Moms never have any losers among their brood. "Almost winners", maybe, but never losers.
"I began to feel more perfect everyday!" Of course, my vocabulary began to decrease. The more I understood the kids, the less others understood me. (That's why a husband needs to listen while you are saying absolutely nothing.)
Maybe you expected to hear about a model home, with white aprons blowing on the clothesline, with dinner always ready, while you are walking through fields of daisies, with tide-clean children. Well, that makes good reading, but you and I know that all we have to do to be a perfect mother is to be their "Mom".
No matter how many mistakes we make, when Mother's Day comes, and the chubby hands and clumsy feet, and those wicked smiles are telling you, "You are alright for a mother", that's about as near as you are going to get to heaven right now.
Someday they will grow up and away, we will have finished our job; but when those wicked smiles tell you "Happy Mother's Day--What's for dinner?" you remember a quote by E. Cunningham:
"Life changes season to season, year to year, but Love is for always."
It doesn't take much to be a perfect mother, you just have to be "theirs".