Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lessons from a Rocking Chair

I stood doing the dishes last night, slightly aware of the Queen's whereabouts. I was pondering the mysteries of our life and focusing on things I had learned that day. After a few minutes, I could not hear the Queen anymore, never a good thing. Soon I heard her crying. I knew instantly where to look: the bathroom.
See, the Queen has learned how to close doors. She is not tall enough, though, to open them once they are closed.
I ran to the bathroom and heard my daughter's heart wrenching sobs. Her cries of terror. She was alone in the dark bathroom and wanted mommy to save her.
I opened the door and swooped her up in my arms. I kissed her cheeks, wiped her tears, and rocked her in a chair. I whispered how sorry I was that I did not hear her sooner and that I love her so much. Her sorrow stabbed my heart, leaving a wound that would not heal. I was careless.
I promised myself that I would be more attentive to my daughter's activities and her needs.
Lesson learned, or so I thought.
An hour or so later she was whining. I picked her up and asked her what is wrong. (She is much too little to give me an answer, but it is natural for me to ask.) I realized it had been awhile since I had changed her diaper, and she did not smell like flowers.
I laid her on the couch to change her and she immediately began screaming. Cries of pain. The diaper that I had neglected to change had given her a horrible rash. A rash that hurt my little angel. After I changed her diaper I once again held her close. This time our tears mixed together. How could I have been so foolish? I had promised I would love and take care of her, yet I once again did not pay close enough attention to her needs.
We held each other in the chair. She gripped her "wee-wee" (blanket) and sucked vigorously on her pacifier. I felt her heart on my chest and reflected on the incidents of the day.
This girl, my little Queen, depends on me for so much. She is not able to care for herself. She relies on mommy to feed her, clothe her, change her diapers, and put her to bed. She expects that I can make her feel better when she hurts or is sick. She comes to me when she is sad. 
I have had moments of bitter regret with my daughter. I have ignored a symptom that turned into something big. I have not consoled her pain because I was busy with doing other things. I have put other things before her that should have been last.
Each of these moments have taught me what is important in my life: being the nurturer. I prayed for the Queen all through my pregnancy. I prayed she would be healthy and strong. I prayed that I would be a good mother to her. After she was born, my prayers asked for more sleep, less sickness, and time to accomplish all I had on my plate. They neglected asking that I be a better parent.
This has changed. I am now constantly praying over how I can best nurture my daughter. The answers come in simple forms. During quiet moments in the rocking chair, or when I am doing the dishes.
Becoming a mother has taught me many important lessons. I hope to always be willing to learn and apply these lessons.


  1. Being a mom is such a learning experience. We are here to learn and grow. As you said in your last sentence, the important thing is being "willing to learn and apply the lessons".

  2. I find it both daunting and encouraging that there are so very many lessons to learn. Always room for improvement, but always the opportunity to look back and see how far we've come.

    The great news though is that if you love your child that immediatey puts you, with no doubts allowed, in the awesome mom category.

  3. My son once accidentally locked his baby brother in the bedroom of a house we just moved into. And there was no way to unlock it from the outside. While the baby sobbed I had to knock the door down. It is terrible when you accidentally cause them pain from neglect or don't realize they need you right away. I figure they have many more memories of me loving and helping them than of the times I mess up (at least I hope so).


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