Last year, I posted my favorite quote on motherhood. I still love it, so I think it bears repeating.
"Every mother has the breathtaking privilege of sharing with God in the creation of a new life. She helps bring into existence a soul that will endure for all eternity."
--Father James Kelly
I've been thinking a lot about the awesome responsibility we have raising our kids. Not just the nurturing, the disciplining, the educating, the giggling-tickling-dancing-til-you-fall-down-ness of it, but the real gravity of helping shape another person into someone who, hopefully, is a much better version of the parents whose DNA they share. It's by far the most important thing we'll ever do. To paraphrase Jackie Kennedy, if you screw up raising your kids, nothing else you do matters very much.
Honestly, if you think about it too much, it will scare the pants off you.
When Claire was just minutes old and the nurse handed me my swaddled bundle of baby, I stared into the murky blueness of her newborn eyes and wondered how in the world a being so fresh from God was now my own. It was almost too much and I very easily could have gone into full freak out mode. But then Claire began crying and I began mothering.
And that's the way it's been for the last four years. Some days I question every parenting decision I make. Did she watch too much TV today? Was I too tough on her? Did I let her get away with too much? Did they have enough fun? I cringe when I see too much of myself in them. Other days, I marvel at the grace and goodness of a God who has given me two beautiful, lively girls who bring out the best in me. But always, I wonder: am I doing this right?
Maybe we don't have to know what we're doing all the time. Maybe that's impossible. Maybe the best we can do is hit our knees and pray that it's enough. For that moment, for that kid, that what we're doing, that our best efforts, are enough.