I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love babies and children. From my first days of babysitting to college and volunteering with autistic children and working part-time in the church nursery, and later taking care of professors’ children on weekdays and weekends, I loved little ones and looking at the world through their exploring eyes of wonder.
Before I had children of my own, I knew I wanted to stay home with them. Children learn the most from the one who spends the most time with them. That’s an undeniable fact. What children learn of love and trust and relationships, and how they grow in their understanding of the world comes primarily from whomever is there with them. Motherhood can be draining and frustrating, but that is countermanded by its serendipity of delight in “Look, Mommy!” and “Hey, Mom, guess what?” and the dailiness of love, joyful chatter, and hugs. Children are not only a stewardship given to us from God—children are also a gift from God.
My children are grown now, and the weekend before Mother’s Day, we welcomed our first grandchild into the world. Above she is slightly bemused as her mommy photographs her through her crib bars, and here she is with sweet dreams.
When I look at my children and see their character, their love for each other, their kindness and integrity, their accomplishments, and their perseverance in the face of difficulty, I am grateful to God. Now they are grown. My life’s work has been to teach them the course that goes safely home.
When I look at my little granddaughter I am grateful to God. She is brand new, yet with her birth and the beginning of the next generation, she is a marker in my marathon of being a mother:
“Thus far the LORD has helped me.”
Children are a blessing.