Beyond Motherhood

Motherhood is not for the faint of hearts, but when it comes to your children, your heart occasionally faints.

Each level of their lives, it becomes harder for us to let them grow and go. I sobbed from preschool to college graduation. I sobbed in the parking lot of their elementary school because they were going on an overnight camping trip. The other parents laughed at me so hard, I couldn’t help but laugh at myself. When God entrusted their lives to their father and I, my life was changed forever. Our biggest job was to love, nurture, keep them safe, and to teach them God’s precepts. Our biggest goal was to make them good citizens of the world.

Just as the lioness knows she must educate her cubs expeditiously, to keep them from falling prey to other animals in the kingdom, I knew my time to cultivate and lay the foundation for my childrens lives would  speed by. The lioness protects her cubs from predators, and teaches them to survive once they are on their own. As the lioness in our home it was my job to nurture and educate my children to be prepared for life. But in my own preparation, I had to sturdy myself with prayer. I prayed without ceasing for discernment, wisdom, courage and an unconditional love that would stand the test of time.

As my daughters ventured off to college, I had to prepare myself for a quiet house where their friends weren’t frequenting our home for Sunday dinner or random movie nights. But, my pride for them continued to surmount when they were inducted into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and later graduated from Ohio State University. Every parent wants their children to succeed and win at life, but I believe my children did more than win, they made my soul sing.

Once again, the tears fell as they approached life after graduation, but my heart beamed with joy at their courageousness to travel across country as if they were Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman. Fearlessness and tenacity was what I hoped my children would grasp hold of in their lives, and two years later when they relocated to Atlanta, I knew their lives would elevate even higher.

A parent’s job is to prepare their child so that they are ready for life and success; however, my children were my teachers and their preparation for life was also my own. As a sexagenarian, a woman of sixty years, I have had time to reflect upon my college days, my careers in the business worlds of banking, communications, and public relations, all which have allowed me to keep my family on the plus side of life. I further reflected on my love of the arts, history, politics, music, high fashion, and traveling to enjoy myself. But above all, the love for my family supersedes everything. When I think of the joy my children bring, they are just Gods dividends allowing me to see the investments in my own life.

Although our lives began as a whole family unit, time passed and there was a break no one expected. Being a single mother had its challenges, and as a parent you must reach beyond yourself to be all that you can be to and for your children. Yet our love for one another persevered, and we were a solid team. Having faith in God, as well as instilling that faith in the them, was the glue that held us together. God’s word teaches us to not be afraid for he is with us, not to be discouraged for he will protect us, strengthen us and uphold us with his victorious hand. Being a Mother taught me to exercise faith on a level that I never knew I had.

I wish I could encapsulate all the joy and pain motherhood has brought me. It’s as if I can see that bright eyed, 24-year-old woman on the day I found out I was having twins; scared, unsure and just trying to find her way. I am so glad we don’t get to look into the crystal ball of the future, because it would scare the heck out of us! The lessons, the trials and the tribulations that force our hand as women and as mothers, can truly make our heads spin at times. But, if asked a thousand times over whether I would trade anything for motherhood, my answer would be the same every time: not one thing at all.

Children are the offspring of parents, but they later become friends attached by affection. My children have been my greatest teachers, as they have instructed, challenged and inspired me through my evolution as a Mother. We have all matured and learned how to continuously walk in our own light. I affectionately love my children BEYOND me. Writer and Poet Sheena Jarvis sums up my deepest sentiments in “My Dearest Daughter,” when she writes,

You are my inspiration,
You are my every fear
You are my everything
You are my every tear.
You are my babies
My everlasting loves
You are the ones that hold my heart.
You are my ray of sun.

I have enjoyed being the mother to Brandi, Karli and Broderick; it has been a complete pleasure to call them my daughters and my son. My hope is that all mothers will take some time to reflect on the beauty that binds us together in this sacred sorority. We are the givers and doers that make the world go ‘round. Let us all continue to hold the hearts and minds of the world. Let us laugh, let us cry, but above all let us continue to lead the world BEYOND, for we are the Mothers.

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