If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Learning to be a Mom

I think we women begin to learn about being a mother from birth.  We learn from our mothers.  We learn from grandmothers and other relatives.  We learn from other folks' mothers.  However, the one who first REALLY taught me to be a mother was Bridgette, my first-born child.
Here she is on the day she became three months old.  It was the first day I heard her laugh out loud.  Her smooth skin glowed and dark brown eyes twinkled as that laughter tinkled like wind chimes on a sunny, breezy day tickling my heart and wrapping me in joy. 

She taught me to be more patient.  She taught me to be more protective.  She taught me that I could continue on no matter how tired I got or how much sleep I lost.  She taught me to set higher goals and have higher expectations.  She taught me to appreciate the little things and notice the ordinary.
She taught me to search for beauty close at hand.  She taught me that curls can be managed by simply letting them be.
She taught me that a smile can often melt even the most frozen, rock solid heart.  She taught me that Jellies make fabulous footwear for little girls who want to be independent.  She taught me that they coordinate with any ensemble - even PJs - and that she should have a pair in every color.
She taught me that it isn't so much the destination as the journey that is important.  She taught me that traveling and arriving in style means a lot but enjoying the trip is vital.
She taught me that a twinkle of the eye and a sheepish grin often say a lot more than words.  She taught me to treat friends like family and family like friends.
She taught me that family comes first and a hug goes a long way.  She taught me that you cannot say I love you too much.  She taught me that if you prop up others, they will usually prop you up when you need it most.
She taught me to take control of the situation when I need to be in charge - that a firm grip and a steady stare sometimes are all that is required to be taken seriously.
She taught me that sometimes it is better to let somebody else take control and just go with it.  Sometimes it is easier and better for everybody involved for us to just go with the flow.  She taught me to be flexible and bend so that others and myself don't break.
She taught me that natural beauty and infectious charm are always welcome and appreciated by everyone who really matters. 
She taught me to hold fast to those who are important and cherish the time we have with them.  She served as a life-line when I needed one most.
She taught me to appreciate the gifts I share and share the gifts I have.  Sometimes the gift is the effort behind it more than the gift itself.
She taught me that hand-crafted and hand-made is always more beautiful, more satisfying, more long-lasting, and more gratifying.  She taught me that to brighten somebody else's day usually brightens my own much more.
She taught me to learn from others and that those with experience are the most knowledgeable ones from whom to learn.  She taught me that we can learn from others even if we don't think we will use that knowledge.  She taught me that knowledge gained today will be invaluable tomorrow and  even later.
She taught me to be ready for anything.  She taught me that sometimes even when we think we are not ready for anything we really are ready for it.  She taught me to accept things as they come and appreciate them right where we are without condition.
She taught me that my heart stretches.  She taught me that the tiniest things are sometimes the things that take the most precedence.  She taught me to look at the world through the eyes of others.
She taught me to take pride in the accomplishments of others.  She taught me to encourage others to accomplish.  She taught me to lift folks up.
She taught me tenderness.  She taught me gentleness.  She taught me dedication and love.
She taught me reverence.  She taught me to revere each day as a bright new opportunity.  She taught me to revere the time spent with those I love and to try to create more time for those moments.
She taught me that the most important lessons are usually learned at the knees of those who guide us lovingly.  She taught me that it is never too early to begin teaching others.
She taught me that when we give ourselves to others, we receive more than we can ever give away.
She taught me to look at the world through different lenses.  She taught me that my own perspective isn't always the one that is truthful and open-minded.  She taught me to try to capture as much as possible and revisit past experiences to help me understand the present situation.
She taught me that behind the scenes often is the most important place to be.  She taught me that the appreciation of most circumstances comes from staying in the background.  She taught me that the observation of others often brings out the best in ourselves.
She taught me that we are never too old to act silly, to giggle, to laugh at ourselves.  She taught me to have fun at every opportunity.
She taught me that sometimes others learn better when we stand aside and let them discover on their own.  She taught me that the feeling of a support net is just as important as the actual support net.
She taught me that a faithful and devoted wife makes mistakes but perserveres. She taught me that a strong role model is fallible but seeks to live like the example she wants her children to be.
Twenty-nine years ago today, my daughter began teaching me to be a mother.  She became my teacher long before she was born, but she certainly took command of her pupil that day and has insisted that I be a rapt pupil ever since. 

She is now a mother herself and is learning every single day as well.  She is one of the greatest gifts I ever was blessed to have bestowed upon me and I am thankful for her each and every day.

Happy Birthday, Bridgette!