She Runs A Good Race

mothering is a marathon

So…About Blogging on Mother’s Day

frugal-gift-ideas-mothers-day-1-intro-lgSo I write this blog about life as a mom. And as a special needs mom, too. Duh….

And its 10:56 PM on Mother’s Day and I have yet to write something as beautiful as Ann Voskamp or witty as Anne Lamott, or just about Ann Young, my dear sweet mother, who passed away in 2004.

But I can’t.  And its a little ironic. BECAUSE I WRITE A BLOG FOR MOMS. So I SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO THIS TODAY.

Instead, I will insert some quotes I love from my new coffee table book, Mom Candy.

Here goes:

“Making a decision to have a child–its momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”  –Elizabeth Stone, writer

“Mighty is the force of motherhood.  It transforms all things by its vital heat.”  –George Eliot, novelist

“There really are places in the heart you dont even know exist until you love a child.”  –Anne Lamott, writer

“I am your mother, the first mile of your road.”  –Kelly Corrigan, novelist

“A mother understands what a child does not say.”  –Jewish proverb

“Kids spell love T-I-M-E.”  –John Crudele, columnist

“(Motherhood is) a choice you make every day, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…and to forgive yoruself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.”  –Donna Ball, novelist

“The real menace in dealing with a five-year-old is that in no time at all you begin to sound like a five-year-old.”  –Jean Kerr, writer and playwright

“Raising kids is part joy and part guerilla warfare.”  –Ed Asner, actor

“Children are a wonderful gift.  They have an extraordinary capacity to see into the heart of things and to expose sham and humbug for what they are.”  –Desmond Tutu, activist

“Your children are the greatest gift God will give to you, and their souls the heaviest responsibility He will place in your hands.  Take time with them, teach them to have faith in God.  Be a person in whom they can have faith.  When you are old, nothing else you’ve done will have mattered as much.”  –Lisa Wingate, writer

“Rest easy, real mothers.  The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already are one.”  –Jodi Piccoult, novelist

“The story of a mother’s life:  Trapped between a scream and a hug.”  –Cathy Guisewite, cartoonist

“Parenthood is sh**, snot, slime, fear, tears, spit, and spills.  It’s as intense as combat, which is to say hours of tedium relieved by moments of alarm and flashes of joy to remind you that you are alive.”  –Scott Simon, journalist

“Its a marathon; not a sprint.”  –Melinda Gates, philanthropist

“Parenting isn’t a noun but a verb–an ongoing process instead of an accomplishment.”

“You may not be able to leave your children a great inheritance, but day by day you may be weaving coats for them which they will wear through all eternity.”  –T.L. Cuyler, minister

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all you uh-mazing women out there who wipe noses and tears, who holler and hug, and who are just trying, praying, hoping, and sweating it out as the best mother you can be for your children.

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When Tears Are More Than Tears

Just as laughter can be rich-belly-laughter, so can tears come in a way that you know they are from deep within one’s soul.

Kate had those kind of tears a few mornings ago.  And I had to pull the minivan off the road just to hug her and hold her.

We were on our way to drop Luke off at middle school.  Which is always a feat to get the three of them out the door that early.

Not more than a minute in, Ryan started to annoy Kate.  (But of course, what else are car rides with kids for?) And she told him to stop.  He liked the rise he was getting out of her, especially as her pitch rose and her passion ensued.  He was smiling (I could feel it) and relishing in his pestering of her.

And then she broke.  She started crying and yelling at him to stop. And it was primal and guttural.

Not the whiny-crying.

Not the manipulating-crying.

Not the baby-in-the-family-type-of-crying.

It was grief.

It was hurt.

It was disappointment.

It was anger.

It was sadness.

It came from a deep place, and she could no longer squash it and just be the sweet, motherly sister who cares dearly and is so uber protective of her older-and-younger-brother, Ryan.

All about Ryan, and having “special needs” that she wished he didn’t have.  And wished nobody knew about.

I pulled over to the side of Grayslake Road.  I did not care one bit if we were running late.  Kate needed me.  She NEEDED a hug.  She needed everything to just stop, for one bless-ed moment, so she could be comforted.  By me.

I slid open the van door and just swooped around her little body.  I held her tight.  And I held in MY TEARS so tightly.

She then whispered as our heads were so close to each other, “I love you, Mom, I love you.”  As if to say, “thank you for validating my tears, and EVERY SINGLE THING I am feeling right now.”

It was a morning that started out like every rushed, hectic before-school chaotic morning.  Unremarkable.  The usual.

But that moment with Kate, I will never forget.

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