When I was a new mother, It wasn't uncommon for me to have a little nervous breakdown in the middle of a project that wasn't going very well. I had such high aspirations for sitting down and teaching my children the principles which were an integral part of me. And when they didn't listen - nay, when their father was playing cars on the floor with them while I was trying to teach a lesson, I got a little bit frustrated. Or when, in the midst of making lovely hand-made cards for my mom and mother-in-law for Mother's Day (I mean Mothers' Day, of course!), little Ben has to fall off the table and break his collarbone... frustration city leading to nervous breakdown-ville. I shed a lot of tears over times that were trying, over projects that went bananas, over parenting mishaps, over discarded goals. Mothering was sometimes a very hair-pulling, scream-into-a-pillow, cry-a-lot, discouraging venture.
I wish I had known that there were also happy tears.
I know I had happy moments, and out-of-your-heart joyful moments. Most of the time, I was quite content and cheerful with my little family. But I didn't know that my tears could be just as heart-wrenchingly happy as they were heart-wrenchingly difficult.
Tonight, I attended Ben's last band concert of the year. My mother-heart just filled up, brim-full to see him walk confidently onto the stage, carrying his beloved trombone, and sporting his dashing tuxedo. I am so honored to be the mother of this boy, this on-the-verge-of-manhood lad, this son of mine, filler of my heart for the past nearly 16 years. And then his band played one of the most beautiful love songs ever: Song For Lyndsay, written by Andrew Boysen to his wife, Lyndsay.
I cried. My heart was so full it leaked out my eyes, I guess. It's pretty amazing that mothering could be so huge and wonderful and humbling, but it is. It is.
I wouldn't choose anything else.