When I look into the not-so-distant future these days, there is a recurrent theme to my dreams and aspirations that not infrequently takes me by surprise, astonishing me both by its intensity and by its persistence. I want to be a mother.
Not a mind-blowing realization, that, considering the assumptions I've carried since early childhood, knowing instinctively somehow that my baby dolls would one day take on flesh and blood and immortality. Why else do little girls talk to their toys, name them, love them... It seems we have vocational tendencies written into our very genetic code. Not to say that all little girls will be mothers, but rather, that all women have an innate capacity for selflessness, a desire to nurture, to make a total gift of self, to die.
My own mother has shown me time and again her capacity for selflessness, a quality that looks for all the world like weakness at first blush. I know differently now. And I've seen my friends, girls-become-women, transformed by the experience of nurturing and protecting a new life. This vocation is not for the faint of heart, and there's no room for weakness.
Softness, yes. Gentleness and peacefulness, definitely. Tenderness, even. But never weakness. Look into the eyes of a new mother and you'll see a strength and an intensity that is not of this world. Because it's not.
And so I pray, and I patiently allow Him to form my heart and my will, trusting that He'll provide the necessary grace. And I stand in wonder at the work my own mother has done, hoping that my life can be a reflection of her sacrifice, knowing that it will never be sufficient. Good thing there are seven of us.
I love you mom.