Gratitude. Nine letters out of Twenty-six. One word out of the millions we have in the American English lexicon. Such a small word for so loaded a concept.
This journey through motherhood... what an eye opener it is. I feel like only now I understand how much a parent gives up when they choose to have a child. One of my favorite quotes about parenthood that really embodies that sacrifice was stated by Elizabeth Stone. She said,
"Making the decision to have a child - its momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart walking around outside your body."
You're never really the same again once you become a parent - are you? All of your wants really get pushed aside so that this little person that depends wholly on you will thrive. Parents are like the ground that seed grows in. Giving so much of itself, of it's nutrients, of it's life force, so that this one little seed can grow into what it was meant to be. So that it can flower and shine.
Oh life - how beautifully painful in all of your life's lessons.
So what does gratitude have to do with all of these deep musings?
Well, Liam was sick during our stay in San Diego and my mother stood like a sentinel beside Ross and I as we treaded through these new and ground breaking waters. And break us it did. But in a good way. It broke us in the areas that were still single and apart and fused the pieces into one working functional unit.
Through cleaning, and laundry, and meals, and being in the care giving rotation at night so that one of us could rest - how humbled I am by my mother. How much parents know and how they are like a fountain of wisdom to draw from. It almost makes me ashamed of thoughts I had growing up when I wanted to be anything but my parents (ever think that?). But now that I am a parent... oh how much they are valued in their life's experience. I don't mean to write this to say that I will model my parenting in a cookie cutter version of my parents - but more so that I will be able to use their knowledge and expertise as an amazing reference book that I can pull from the shelf to learn and to glean from. How wonderful to have access to that power house of information. It makes me question if I take advantage of their wisdom enough. And in return - am I showing my gratitude towards them. Not just for their advice - but for their perseverance in their parental journey. In their failures that led to learning experiences that eventually yielded triumphs.
I am so blown away by how much parents give. I am so humbled by the way my parents have taught me, and are teaching me through their example.
Can you feel it mom? Can you feel how bowed down I am with gratitude? How much love is here?
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.