Angela over at FruitfulFamily posted an entry that has had me thinking for the last week. I’m sure the post will be a seed for some other work I’ve been asked to complete. Her title was “How Will I be Remembered?” In the post, she pondered the question (she says she rambled, but I thought it was quite eloquent) of how her children would remember her as a mom. As I said before, I’ve thought a lot about the question myself. Here’s what I came up with:
I’ve been a different mom at different seasons of our child-rearing years. The first was not only our first, but the first grandchild on one side, and the first in a long time on the other. We all doted over her, and it shows. Our third child was, well, our third child: the baby books aren’t as completely filled in, there are fewer pictures at various stages of her life, and at four years old, she’s just seeing her first live Sesame Street show today with Dad. (We couldn’t wait to take the oldest to a live show, even though she cried at the size of the characters and we had to, unsuccessfully, I might add, convince her that they were only people in costumes). Now, between reassuring a teenager that she is beautiful in God’s eyes and in ours (so she doesn’t go seeking validation from some knucklehead), and helping a son walk the fine line of typical 9-year-old-boyishly annoyance without crossing over into paving his road to hell, the park trips and tea parties come fewer and farther between. I leave most of that to big brother and big sister. I have committed recently to more bike trips on these spring evenings. The weather right now begs us to be outside, which she loves, and it looks as if the Lord is giving us opportunity to minister to some other only children/lonely children.
I’ve also thought about my own mom and how I remember her. She was 44 when I came along, completely unexpected. In my 20’s and 30’s I had “head knowledge” of that, but now in my 40’s, I can truly appreciate what it must have taken to start over in diapers, sleepness nights, etc. Although we planned all of our children (with e-mails in one case to show it), I know I’d do a great Sarah impersonation if we found out a 4th child was coming. Even when we talked a while back about the possibility of adopting, we discussed a preschooler.
However they see me, I believe they’ll see me as one who loved them, and maybe too often that love took the form of making things clean and warm for them rather than the traditional children’s activities. I’ve learned that my love language is acts of service, so my cooking an enjoyable meal was, at least in my mind, the equivalent of playing with dolls and bikes (of course, they might have to be parents themselves to see that). But I want, if nothing else, to be remembered as one who loved them unconditionally and who sacrificed that they might always have–that’s the love that my Father showed me.
By the way, the oldest and I had an extended talk about her plans for her career, her life, and her dreams. As she shared what she thought might be her day-to-day lifestyle, she was trying to figure out how she could fulfill her professional dreams and homeschool her children. Yeah, that’s how I want to be remembered—as someone whose time with them bears repeating.