Friday, January 25, 2008

The Making of a Mother

Having children is an awakening.  I think that most people would acknowledge that, even if they haven't yet experienced it.
As a nursing mother, I have spent a significant amount of time quietly rocking a baby, just staring at them and thinking.
When Bethelle was born, she inspired in me a renewed commitment to be the best that I could be.  She was so helpless and trusting.  It seemed like her whole life was in my hands.  I wanted to make the best of that little life and provide her with a good example.
Now I have Rigby.  As I rocked him that first two months, I thought a lot about the miracle of the existence of love.  What a gift.  Evolutionists may think that I came from the primordial ooze, but I do not believe that the ooze could have produced such an emotion.  I take love as a testament to God's divine plan for His children.  "For the joy of human love: brother, sister, parent, child, friends... Lord of all, to thee we raise our hymn of grateful praise" (For the Beauty of the Earth, Pierpont).  My love for Rigby came to me regardless of anything Rigby ever did.  It reminds me of 1 John 4:19, "We love him because he first loved us."  I feel that I "first loved" Rigby and that he has come to love me because of my "first" love.  Being a parent has helped me to understand and experience a little of the "first" love that our Heavenly Father and the Savior feel for us.
Last night as I was preparing for bed, Rigby woke up crying.  I went to his room to pick him up and feed him.  The moment he saw me, he calmed and smiled.  I took him to our rocking chair where he nursed and fell asleep happily.  Holding him, I realized that there is a second part to this kind of love.  The result of Rigby sensing my "first love," a love that requires nothing in return, is faith.  Rigby has complete faith in me.  He knows that this type of love cannot fail.  Despite his enduring helplessness, he in completely at peace when he knows that I am caring for him.
I believe the words of John, that God "first loved us," and I now see that this is a source of my faith in Him.  Anyone who could love me for my mere existence, and maybe even before that... anyone who could love me the way that I love my children, could only want the best for me.  Like Rigby, and even in my own helplessness, I can have faith that my heavenly parent guides my life and understands far better than I ever could what is best for me.
Sometimes in life we "wake up" and, like Rigby, find ourselves alone and hungry.  We have a Heavenly Father who is aware of our needs.  He loves us and cares for us.  We can have the faith of a child in a mother's arms and experience the same peace regardless of our surroundings and circumstances.


Elise said...

I appreciate your thoughts, Elke. Claire's grin is pretty humbling. Every time she smiles I feel a deep sense of awe, and in her innocence she seems to be saying, "Be careful with me, Mommy."

I think postnatal recovery is hard for me mostly because the children I've received are so perfect... why would they want to stay with me? I feel wholly unworthy of having them.

Rita said...

As Elke's mother can you even imagine how I feel when I read this writing by my daughter? I love all of my children so much. And with marriages and grandchildren there are blessings added to blessings, more and more in the family circle. What a blessing to have been given the joy of family.
Seeing parenthood first hand helps us to better understand the parenthood of our Heavenly Father. I love my children and this new generation of grandchildren that has come and is coming my way. Bethelle is our second grandchild and Rigby is our fifth. Psalms 113:9 says “happy is the man (or woman) that hath his quiver full of them (children)…” Matthew 18:3 says “except ye be converted, and become as little children …" Children have an enthusiasm for life and a curiosity and zest for learning that we all need to learn from. My grandchildren are delightful. They along with the children that are now their parents teach me life’s greatest lessons, like unconditional love, curiosity, zest for life, endless energy, and amazing creativity.