Thursday, May 7, 2009

Maternal Affection

Maternal Affection
Maternal Affection Art Print
Munier, Emile
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I have come to the conviction that mothers really deserve this holiday called "Mother's Day." They deserve that sort of appreciation year-round, for their entire lives!
Look at all the things mothers do:
The work of childbirth and subsequent sleep deprivation;
The dirty diapers and spit ups, that must be cleaned up, sanitized, washed off of child and furniture and self;
The colicky baby, who must be walked around until 2 AM;
The older baby that is checked on three times a night to see if he is warm or dry or still breathing;
The childhood illnesses and scrapes that need healing and comforting;
The character training, behaviour training, potty training (and all the "oops" that come with each) that is constant while the child is awake;
The constant hightened sense of care and watchfulness (and blood pressure) as a baby crawls around putting things in its mouth, as a toddler walks out of sight, as an kindergartner tries new things like climbing, gymnastics, bike riding and swinging from things;
Not to mention feeding and bathing and grooming until the child is old enough to do these things himself.

Then there are the childhood illnesses, the education of a child, their physical safety, their spiritual training, and the ups and downs of childhood that you share with them or know are coming. 
I can only imagine the stress of parents of older children who are thinking about marriage, jobs, or driving... the list could go on and on. 

And there are those times when a mother is needed by everyone for everything, all at the same time. If your mother seems a bit feeble, minded, she probably got that way through trying to do too many things at once! A child needs a jacket on, the other child needs help with a project, the phone rings because you are the only person to call who knows some particular thing, the dog is whining to go out, there is a diaper to change 

And mothers know, even though their lives are caught up in the little things, that the little people are watching them every day, and listening to what they say. Through the laundry and dishes and meals to be cooked, a mother has in the back of her mind that she is her child's example of how to live life.

Little ones like to imitate their mommy. That is why they like to try on her shoes, or little girls get into her makup box, pretend to dust the furniture, or rock their baby dolls and sing to them. They imitate the kindness and tenderness that the mother shows, along with everything else (toddler in bossy tone to brother at the door- "Take your shoes off!") including gestures, mannerisms, and phrases. When you get on your knees at a toddlers' eye level, and button up their shirt or tie their little shoes, if you say something like "okie dokie" you will hear a delighted echo of yourself, though it may sound a bit garbled: "dokie oakdee!"

So along with everything else that we have to do as mothers, we have to pray for the Lord's guidance of our lives every minute, for "a little fellow follows me."

Of course a loving mother cares about all these things, and she would like her children to love her in return, not just because she does or has done all these things, but because she is "Mother." (Of course every child should appreciate Mother for these sacrifices of sleep and time, etc. but I do not think one really does until one is a parent themselves!)

I say all this to impress upon you that when a woman becomes a mother, she takes upon her a responsibility that encompasses her mind, body and soul. She deserves your thanks and love for this. Make sure your mother has a big hug and a huge bouquet of roses some time soon!
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