When Lisa-Jo asked what surprised us most about motherhood, I drew a blank. No, that’s not entirely true. I drew on memories the breadth and width of fourteen years, and the weight of them crammed into every nook and cranny of my mind. They smothered everything else like a blanket, rather than a blank. I couldn’t choose just one. The fact that anyone would consider me fit to bring another human being into this world to love, protect, and raise as a productive member of society is absolutely preposterous. It’s miraculous. It’s the wildest, most absurd, most wonderful experience I’ve ever known.
I tell my son–the one with the sensitive soul, the one whose anger I can match flame for flame, the one who holds a mirror to my obvious faults and the streak of crazy running through me–I tell him we are meant for one another. He is the son God ordained for me from the foundations of the earth. I am the parent chosen for him. I am meant to mold him into a man, he is meant to mold me into a mother. Together, we mold each other into the image of Christ.
Mothers and daughters and sons: We are equal opportunity artists, discovering the masterpiece within the stone, by way of chisel and hammer. We are rough waters pounding the pebbles of each others soul’s smooth. We are consuming fires that burn through the chaff until only treasure remains.
And some days we are so sick of each other that we beg the good Lord for a break from the seemingly never-ending cycle of give and take. Dear Lord, let there be an emotional break on the other side of this, as opposed to the emotional breakdown I will experience if this person doesn’t get out of my face. Amen.
Motherhood is one big, chaotic surprise. The depth of feeling and the weight of what we bear and the reflection in the mirror of their eyes and the tears and the laughter and the unbearable lightness and the imperfection and the shocking realization that someday, we will turn these little people out into the world, and they will shine. And, surprise!, so will we.
Lisa-Jo is a super-hero, and she thinks you’re one too. Her new book Surprised by Motherhood is silently winging its way to my mailbox. Her story is one of loss and redemption, healing and hope. You want to read it. I know you do. It releases on April 1st, or as Lisa-Jo says, “April Fools Day, because, of course.”
Join me Tuesday for the start of a short series of posts on writing, including my real-life experience with writing book proposals and pitching them. Guaranteed to make you feel better about your day, even if you spent it building forts for unicorns or folding laundry:)