The two girls got out of the car. The first one out saw another friend and ran off to greet her, leaving the second girl to make her way in to the school alone, trailing behind the two others.
I saw her head bow, her shoulders slump. Not a minute into her school day and her soul had been wounded.
And my mama heart broke.
It broke because I don’t have any words of wisdom that can heal the wound of being left out, of being forgotten. It broke because I remember those awkward pre-teen days when you don’t know exactly who you are, and you have no idea who you want to be. It broke because that wounded soul is my child.
This year, as Mother’s Day approaches, I feel more keenly than any year since my first daughter was born what it is to be a mother, what it means to have pieces of your heart walking around outside your body.
That first Mother’s Day was one of wonder and joy, finally understanding what it really means to be a mom. This Mother’s Day is a reminder that being a mom sometimes means that you simply hold them and remind them that they are loved, that they are valuable, and that they are God’s.
That first Mother’s Day, I just knew I could love my daughter and protect her from harm. This Mother’s Day, I know that being a mom doesn’t mean that you can fix every problem even though you want to. Oh, how you want to.
That first Mother’s Day, I was a mama with a heart filled with joy over my baby’s first milestones. This Mother’s Day, I’m a mama with a heart that aches for the struggles my girls have faced this year.
That first Mother’s Day, I knew that I would need to rely on God to make it through the next 18 years. This Mother’s Day, I’m living the reality of knowing that the most powerful thing a mom can do is get on her knees and storm the gates of heaven for her kids. I’m learning that even if I can’t heal the wounds of this world, He can.
That first Mother’s Day, I was still learning just what being a mom meant. This Mother’s Day, I know that being a mom means that you have to be wise, patient, loving, firm and so many more things – so many of which I’m not.
That first Mother’s Day, I thought if I just did all the “right” things, then my girls would make all the right choices. This Mother’s Day I know that it’s a rare day when I do all the “right” things. I know that a mom can do everything she knows to help her kids make good choices, and those kids can still make the wrong ones.
That first Mother’s Day, I thought I had all the answers for the years yet to come. This Mother’s Day, I know that mothering is a one-day-at-a-time proposition, and God only provides the wisdom, the strength and the courage that we need for that day.
As I celebrate Mother’s Day this year with my girls, as I look back on the struggles they’ve faced since last Mother’s Day, I know that the journey isn’t always easy. I know that this mama rarely has all the answers. But I also know that, even though my perspective has changed from that first Mother’s Day, I wouldn’t trade this amazing, frustrating, joy-filled, crazy, heart-breaking job for any other.