I used to feel sorry for people who didn’t have kids.
I thought what do they have to look forward to? Who’s going to take care of them when they’re old? How awful they must feel on Mother’s day and Fathers day.
But today as I looked at a coworker in that category my feelings changed.
I thought–She never has to see her child suffer. You can look at a kid in a faraway country and feel sorry for their circumstance but until you have had the full responsibility for a human–from the first flutter of movement or from first sight of their little face; then providing every aspect of their human needs for years and years- it’s not the same. Empathy versus deep unconditional love maybe?
You instantly become a fighter. An advocate and a mama bear ready to attack anything that threatens to come between you and this little previous human that is entrusted to your care.
You can love something at first site. And love can grow exponentially too. After hundreds of times looking into those eyes, you form a loving bond. Hundreds of meals fixed for them. Hundreds of baby spoons cajoled into their little mouths trying to get them to eat. And when they are hurt by the outside world or even worse-by someone close to them-the pain that you feel for them is indescribable. When all you want more than anything is for your child to feel loved and secure and just happy–just plain happy.
I spent years and years feeling a sickening pit in my stomach for how much pain my brother must have been in in the years before he took his own life. I can’t even imagine what magnitude of pain my mom must have felt at the same thought. I thought of my mom’s years and years of pain and suffering. And how, at times, she had no one to confide in.
Now here I am- my life more than halfway over with–and I have my own searing mother pain. My daughter tells me that we can’t control how people feel or what they do–therefore we can’t worry about it. Yes, that’s the practical thing to do. That is highly logical Captain Kirk. We can only control ourselves, our thoughts, our actions. But what if you are a “highly sensitive” person? What if you tend to reflect, analyze, & worry? What if every decision you’ve made was carefully thought out and made with the only information you had at the time and only the feelings & experiences in your own heart? But of course- it didn’t please everyone. Because you can’t please everyone. It’s easy for someone else to look at it and say this or that–but until they’ve faced it – in exactly your same scenario -there should be NO judgment.
No matter the age of your child- you hurt when they hurt. YOU are the ones seeing the pain in their eyes when they are left out of something in school or with friends. YOU are the one who sees the sadness of their face drooping. You are the one who catches the slight change in their tone of voice as they tell the world they’re fine, when you know their insides are screaming that they’re not.
Rick Warren the pastor and author of the book “The Purpose-Driven Life” talked about his son committing suicide at age 27. He said if love could have healed that boy he would be sitting here today. He was surrounded by love. A stable home. Lots of support. Yet his synapses in his brain weren’t working. He still didn’t “feel” it or process it- who knows. But the pain was there. The incredible pain. The pain that we would take away if we could. But we can’t.
We spend years nurturing our children and hope that everyone else will do the same. But everyone else doesn’t. Because everyone else has their own agenda. Their own pain. Everyone else has their own ideas of what life should be like in their world. If someone is frowning they think that person should just be happy. If someone is not doing what that person thinks they should be doing- they THINK “THEY should just be doing what I think they should be doing. …We do it all the time….every day “why didn’t he just do that?” Over and over we push our experiences and thoughts onto an entire other person’s life. Disregarding THEIR thought process and their feelings. Why can’t we all just be little robots going around doing what we should? Because we’re not. We’re only human. Like the Christina Perry song
Cause I’m only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I’m only human
And I crash and I break down
Your words in my head, knives in my heart
You build me up and then I fall apart
‘Cause I’m only human, yeah……
Happy Mother’s Day to every Mom who’s ever had the privilege of raising a child, even for a short time.
Happy Mother’s Day to every Mom suffering today because of loss or pain or illness.
Cherish your memories, and thank God for every moment you had and for every future moment you have ahead to honor your children and your role as their ultimate cheerleader and fighter.
To my Mom who has passed, here’s your favorite guy. I honor your memory with love.