Labor of Love

Sunday the world celebrated mothers and having recently given birth, I fully support this special day of acknowledgment.  Being a mom is a straight up labor of love.  It starts out hard and beautiful (no matter how long or what type of labor you have), and it doesn’t get easier (or is this just me?!).  Having just brought a preemie home, I can say unequivocally that the hardest thing about a new baby is having a toddler:).  But sister love is magical and I’m so happy that we’re all home together and as pretty much any mom will tell you, it is worth all the pain and exhaustion and trial.  It is a privilege and a gift and I am so thankful to be a mom, even when one of my children seems to periodically lose her entire vocabulary except for the word “NO!!!”.  As I start to settle into being the mom of two, I am in awe of mothers everywhere and I hope you all felt appreciated last weekend.

But let’s be honest.  One day of notice is not enough, not even close, when a mother gives herself every day of every year of her children’s lives.  Moms clean butts and feed finicky, messy tiny people.  Then they educate and transport and grow small curious still-messy people.  When those small people get bigger, a mother’s work is not less, just more complex and perhaps a bit more difficult.  Children grow up, but moms keep loving them beyond reason.

There is no better example of this crazy never-ending giving than my own mother. She made the decision to come to Chile for as long as we needed her, which ended up being two whole months.  She left the comfort of the USA for the chaos of life abroad; she dealt with no dishwasher, no dryer, no car, and no community for eight weeks.  She cooked and cleaned, snuggled and comforted, potty trained and prayed like a champion.  She is a mom of heroic proportions and we will never deserve all the love she poured on us during this hard season.

As she got ready to leave Chile, my mom took every single opportunity to help us, encouraging me to rest, watching Rayna so we could go on dates, and demonstrating how like her own saintly mother she really is.  I can only hope to one day love my daughters with such sacrifice and grace.  When I told her how thankful I was, her simple reply was “Anytime.” And I know she actually means that.  There is no bigger gift than the knowledge that no matter where I am in the world, my mom is ready to support me.  Even if it means learning how to use a crazy gas stove and manage the moods of a two-year-old who thinks she’s a threenager.  That is some serious love!

We survived a long season of hospitals and upheaval in large part because my mom stood with us in the mess.  It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t always pretty, but we made it through.  Adela gave us another big surprise when she was released from the hospital earlier than we’d expected and we are happily adapting to the sweetness and craziness of being a family of four.  And God’s perfect timing was evident as my mom got to be there when her new granddaughter came home (in an uber, of course;).  She got to enjoy little Adela just before she went back to NY and looking back, it’s pretty amazing how things worked out.  We are counting our many blessings and so thankful for all the prayers and love sent these last few weeks.  More baby pics to come when I’ve slept enough hours in a row to remember how to download them;).  Love!!!

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2 thoughts on “Labor of Love

  1. This post brings me such joy… and made me cry as it reminded me of how my mother has demonstrated her love for us. Mothers are a beautiful blessing in our lives and your 2 sweet ones may not know how to express their gratitude right now, but trust me, they will one day 🙂 🙂

  2. Always love reading your updates, Jesse, as you know. Sounds like your mom was extraordinarily helpful-what a gift to you all.
    I would concur that being a mom is both the greatest and also the most difficult job there is. I admire your strength to press forward.
    I hope you are allowing yourself plenty of rest. Love to all of you!
    Kim

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