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On Being Mama, May 2015

May 10, 2015

Being a mother is, to me, a mostly impossible task. I’m being asked to be who I am not yet.

I didn’t often feel the sting of failure in my mostly sheltered and protected middle-class American upbringing. Until those nurses placed that tiny, tiny red-headed baby into my trembling arms. And since that day, I’ve learned the humility of failing more times than I can recount, both in big and small ways.

And through those failings I’ve seen grace upon grace upon grace. Because for some reason, those two little boys keep loving me. Keep calling me mama and mom and mommy. For some reason, despite all my lacking as mama, they keep asking for my hugs, my off-key singing, my silly games. And perhaps most curious of all, despite the1040731_10151800526015757_936029085_ose failings, I keep love being mama.

Even though. I am not yet patient enough. Or kind enough. Or brave enough. Nor do I know enough. Think enough. Feel enough. Be enough. I am not yet who I ought to be.

So I look to those who have mama’d before me and around me. I search for their reassurance that all these cracks aren’t disassembling me. They are breaking open deep wells of grace and light. They are all running together in a masterful design that is not too late in coming.

Maybe this plan of making parents out of not-yets is purposeful. A great mysterious paradox where the child is both learner and teacher. Where the mama is both not enough and just enough. So that even though I am not yet who I ought to be, I am becoming.

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