Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day 2017

What a wonderful Mother's Day this one has been! I've been very much aware that I am in a season during which my Mother's Day are tangible events with little children running around, whispering loudly about their secret plans for me, toddlers and babies fighting for who gets to hug me most in the morning, and all manner of sweetness. During other seasons, I won't have all my babies close around me, or so physically clamoring to love on me. I am very grateful for it now.

In the morning, Chris sent me upstairs with chocolate-covered blueberries and my book to read in peace. Chris was downstairs making breakfast with all five kids helping: bacon, eggs, toast, hash browns, and chocolate muffins.

EXCELLENT book--subject of a future blog post by me?

While getting dressed (again, by myself!), I listened to the latest IEW podcast, Episode #93: Mothers and Their Important Role in Education. What a delightful and encouraging episode, and one not just for homeschooling mothers, but all mothers dedicated to their children's educations.

In the podcast, Andrew Pudewa read aloud the below poem and I dare you to read it without moistened eyes, especially if you are a mother like me who has, with very few missed days, read aloud several book chapters per day to her children for ten years.

The Reading Mother
Strickland Gillilan 

I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
"Blackbirds" stowed in the hold beneath.

I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.

I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.

I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings--
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be--
I had a Mother who read to me.

Definitely looking like a round earth mama

Finally summoned downstairs, I got to open my cards and pile of gifties, chosen by the little ones. My ten-year-old documented with the camera, which is why most of the pictures were of just my hands.

Mother's Day breakfast

After Mass, which was an unusually peaceful one spent with my four-year-old spent sleeping on my lap and my six-year-old holding my hand and putting her head on my shoulder, Chris took us to pizza.

We came home to watch "Swiss Family Robinson" (1960) and eat ice cream.

I leave you with an interesting read,  "A Tribute to Mothers" by Rev. John A. O’Brien (who is unknown to me), written in 1953: click here.

One excerpt particularly resonated with me: "When the child is born the mother begins to die—die for the new life dearer than her own, die in service for another, die in dreams of peaceful valleys she shall not enter, die upon battlefields whose shouts of victory she shall not hear."

It is a mystery that motherhood itself, reproduction of the future generations, involves so much spiritual death, but it is my experience that it does. It involves what St. Paul calls "death to self." Every time I thought there was no more death to self I could possibly do, I was proven quite wrong. Ten years into this vocation and I now realize that there are depths unfathomed to how much more death to self I have to do, but at least I can see progress. I rarely have reaction to little ones' night wakings anymore, and I wouldn't know what it means to sleep through the night. I have no expectation of actually participating in the Mass. I know that it is a rare thing when I sit still for more than a minute before I am needed by yet another little soul. Changing diapers doesn't even make me blink. But there is so much more spiritual death to come: death to my ego, death to my hopes and dreams, death to my plans. Thankfully, being crucified to Christ, so to speak, is the way to unifying oneself to God.

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." (Galatians 2:20)

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