Why Bother Being Grateful for Children?
I was not one hundred percent sure I wanted to become a mother. While some of my friends talked of their biological clocks ticking, I was just adjusting to being a wife. The thought of motherhood made me second guess myself. Would I be a good mom? Did I have the patience, skill and where-with-all to care for a completely dependent human being? Though I could not imagine myself as a mother, my husband could. He convinced me that motherhood would come naturally, and shortly thereafter, I became a mom, a role which significantly enriched my heart.
With the birth of each of my three sons came a new and yet similar bonding experience. Holding them, I wanted to cry and smile at the same time. Each of my newborns had the power to hold my gaze with their beautiful eyes for long periods of time. They were the ones who molded me into their mother. They were curious learners with gentle and trusting hearts and their lives not only grabbed my full attention, but they also knit my heart to theirs.
I did not know everything about parenting, but instead, learned along the way— setting boundaries, disciplining with love, teaching table manners and how to complete their chores cheerfully were as important as the academic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic. Then, when they turned older and tested our love and the boundaries we’d set, I tied aprons around their waists and showed them how to cook. I introduced them to planning meals and following recipes and once a week, put them in charge of cooking supper. Now all three are comfortable in their own kitchens.
I am proud of my sons— of their independence, their work ethic, and the lives they have established with their own families. And I am especially proud of their talents in the kitchen.
Consequently, when I broached the topic of Thanksgiving dinner this year, my oldest son took the lead. First, he planned the menu— prime rib, sweet potato soup, stuffing, Brussels sprouts, scalloped potatoes, cranberry relish, rolls and an assortment of pies. Then he assigned each of us which foods we were responsible to bring.
On Thanksgiving afternoon, I opened my door to welcome sons, their families and a delicious dinner planned and prepared by someone other than me. Blessings abound when my children come around. And though at first I could not imagine myself becoming a mother, it would be impossible to think of myself as anything other.
Why bother being grateful for children? Raising sons and daughters is an honorable job, one which enriches the heart from the very start. I’m glad I didn’t miss my opportunity to be blessed.