Monday, April 8, 2013

to be Mama

I wiped a hundred salty tears and gave a thousand kisses;
At least two noses wiped snot on me—not within my wishes.
I made breakfast, lunch, (and thirteen snacks?) and now dinner’s on the stove.
To Target, Costco, Trader Joes my mommy van I drove.
My hands are raw from doing dishes, yet there’s still more to be washed;
Like endless training of the two-year-old who keeps saying “Oh, my gosh!”
I painted pictures, built dragon caves, cleaned pee in every room.
And caught myself saying crazy things, like, “You don’t deserve to use the broom!”
When did cleaning become a “privilege” for them, but for me my daily  “plight”?
I guess when vacuum attachments are special swords for a special dragon fight.
I folded laundry, changed twelve diapers, then refolded stacks once more—
Sneaky boys stealing laundry baskets to creep like turtles across the floor.
Sometimes I feel like a zookeeper, trying to keep animals in their cage;
Please tell me I’m not raising monkeys and climbing is just a stage.

Then for one moment my world was perfect: 
Brothers building towers, babe nursing at my breast.

But then I blink…
And one boy throws a block and the other boy screams 
And the baby bites me with his two tiny chompers so I’m screaming, too, 
Which makes the baby wail and I just want to rewind time 
And hit the pause button on that one precious moment of serenity and sweetness 
And leave my life frozen there 

But I can’t.

Because I’m a mama, and my boys are growing fast.
And these crazy chaos days feel loooong, but surely they won’t last.
Soon, little boys who want to kiss me with peanut butter faces
Will be replaced by teenagers with scruffy chins and braces.
The little arms that reach up high and around my neck squeeze tight
Will soon grow manly muscles and sprout tall past mama’s height.

So please, dear Jesus, help me to stop and savor these crazy days,
Help me to remember every boyish giggle and adoring baby gaze.
Help me to delight in all their growing—each funny noise and silly word,
Help me to put aside my to-do lists so each child feels he’s heard.
Help me to look past crumbs and milk drips to see the gifts and not the mess,
Help me to find more words of praise and honor, and criticize much less.
But mostly, gracious God, help me to turn to you each moment of each hour
To find wisdom, patience, strength, and grace—to be Mama by your power.