I spent a lot of time thinking about what it would be like to be a mother, years and years of time. Does the reality match? Sort of. The physical day in day out stuff is what I thought it would be. Making sandwiches, washing clothes, schlepping here and there is what I expected.
It’s the emotional part, the relational part I didn’t have a framework for, at least not from a mother’s perspective. I think of the emotional aspects of parenting as acting like an emotional tuning fork. I find myself checking in on my son’s emotions and engaging him with a purpose. If he’s in a sunny mood, which he most often is, my purpose is to be playful with him. Just to connect and goof off, sometimes with stuff more typical of younger children like “This little piggy”, we have skipped some years together after all this 9-year-old boy and I.
When his mood is sour my purpose is to sooth his emotions. When I engage him it’s to hold his emotions from spiraling out of control and my purpose becomes to get him “tuned” back to more neutral territory. It’s a relational dance I often ask Our Lady, St. Anne and St. Elizabeth to help me with, and when he’s really out of sorts I’ll just place me hand on him and pray over him, once he calms down a bit I’ll pray a decade of the rosary over him out loud. I explain the mystery and he counts out the Hail Marys as I go. So far it really seams to sooth him.
My husband’s interaction with him is so very different. He’s much more physical, they rough house and well frankly there are often stinky bodily functions involved in their goofing off. What is it with men and gas and fingers?
I wonder what would become of our great nation if moms refocused on being moms. I see more and more families tossing the feminist presumption that women only have value if we are producing financially, but what would become of us if this were standard rather than the exception?
What if moms across the nation were setting the tone, acting as the tuning fork for their families rather than the media or peers or the ever-pressing demands of extra curricular activities? Perhaps NYT columnists wouldn’t be so baffled by God's design for humanity and perhaps our nation would be strengthened as our families are strengthened.
He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the LORD. Psalm 113.9 I didn’t think it would ever happen, but you had a plan far greater than any I could have come up with myself. Thank you Jesus.