“Mom, what does it feel like to be a mommy?” Four-year old Sarah sincerely looked up at me. Holding her chubby little fingers in one hand and five-year old Candace’s hand in my other hand as we walked along, tears welled up unexpectedly in my eyes, threatening to spill at any moment.
How does a mom answer a question like that? In a way that a four-year old can understand? As the current cliché goes, my heart was full in that moment.
Could I possibly explain how I often feel like my children are connected to my very soul? Could I convey the depth of my love, so deep that I can’t even seem to comprehend the complexity of it? It’s a love that truly knows no boundaries.
Would she understand that my life is no longer my own and that I’m thoroughly thrilled about that? I have lovingly laid my life subserviently but willingly on the altar of motherhood. Unless she comprehends that half of the equation, then she won’t understand my occurrences of selfishly grabbing the sacrificed life back before once again laying it down.
How will I expound emotions and feelings that are at opposite ends of the spectrum? Overjoyed one minute, then stressed and facing feelings of incompetence the next.
The only answer I had for Sarah that day as I looked down at her and smiled: “It’s the most wonderful feeling I’ve ever known.” It was an honest answer. And a short answer. It was enough for a four year old.
All of you who are mothers will understand my dilemma in that moment and my inadequate response. There is just no utterance that will encapsulate how it feels to be a mommy.
The only way you truly know how it feels to be a mommy is to….well…..be a mommy. Sarah is now married and due to give birth to her first child, my first grandchild, in January. (He’s a boy.)
Wait a minute! Didn’t I just say she was four? Oh, yeah, that was yesterday. Today she is just weeks away from finding the answer to her question.
She will get to experience MOPS in a way that she couldn’t when she was a preschooler in MOPPETS in 1994 or as a helper in the classes for many years thereafter.
She will know fully what Momology is, and with simply a smile between you and her, the common bond of motherhood ensures that you will completely get each other.
She will find that being a mommy gives her an instant community, especially in a MOPS group where the binding of mothering leaves little room for our differences to come between us.
I’m so excited for all you who are joining us this MOPS year, just as I’m excited for Sarah. You’ll make friends so you won’t have to journey the mothering path alone. You will encourage each other. You will challenge each other.
You’ll hear speakers who will teach you more about the practical aspects of your path as well as pointing you to spiritual hope and purpose.
As for Sarah, she will finally know what all moms at MOPS already know. She will know, just like you know, the unspeakable joy, the incomprehensible love, the experiences that cannot be conveyed with mere words. She will know, just like you know, just like I know, exactly what it feels like to be a mommy.