Sunday, May 13, 2012

My First Mother's Day Was Almost My Last

Mother's Day marks the second anniversary of Addison's first heart surgery.
I was a brand new mother with a four month old baby on 24 hours of oxygen, a g-tube, and a medicine schedule requiring two degrees to understand. Little Addison was hanging on to dear life with smaller than usual hands.

Mother's Day to me brings to mind feelings of failure and loss.

Because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't bring good health to  my little girl.
Even though the surgery was merely to close up a large hole in her heart, her severe pulmonary hypertension ensured very high risk.

It was my first mother's day as a mother. Would it be my last?
I learned very early in my parenting career the concept of letting go.

Addison's life was not in my control. The outcome of her surgery was not something I could direct with eloquently worded prayers.

I had to trust.
Her entire first year was full of many expressions of blind faith. I wish I could go back. I wish I could tell the pale, silent woman waiting forlornly in the waiting room during those surgeries that in two years her life would be full of this:
and this:
and this:
And while I knew in my heart that God is still good even when having an unhealthy child or facing loss, living through it was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

Addison's life was spared. And after a long fight through a lot of physical problems.

She is healthy.
And now it's the second anniversary of that heart surgery and I feel sad and thoughtful as I think of my sister and her recent loss.

Because our children's lives are not in our control no matter how much we love and wish a long life of happiness for them.
Whether we are even mothers-whether we can conceive a baby at all- that's not in our hands either.

Motherhood in its entirety is a matter of trusting God one day at a time with the little ones that we have

or don't.

And either way we are tested and tried above what we think we can handle and yet somehow come through

stronger. braver. ready to love deeper.
To me, Mother's Day is an opportunity to say thank you, hug tight the two vibrant lives that are in my care and dedicate myself anew to not wasting a minute of the time that I have with them.
Dear Addison and Carter,

 I oftentimes feel like a failure as a mother. I fear daily that I'm not doing enough-reading enough-balancing enough-playing enough-therapying enough. And yet on this mother's day as I think how far I've come since I met both of you, I'm pushing aside my own feelings of inadequacy and promising you that every day you will see my best.

My best on some days may be foods that aren't your favorite- diaper pails that aren't emptied when they should have been- crumbs that were neglected to be vacuumed-clothes that are still in the dirty pile-baths that aren't the perfect temperature of soakiness

realizing that sometimes there are higher priorities- loving, talking, hugging, nurturing, feeding, teaching

and always putting you first in my schedule of life.

I love you both  more than I can say, and I am grateful for the privilege of being your mother.
Happy Mother's Day!

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