Saturday, March 14, 2015

Aging and Motherhood

I have had terrible bronchitis, sleeping sitting up, drugged up with cough medicine.  You get the picture.

Maybe it was the drugs that caused the dream, but the emotions were so real, nonetheless.

Probably motherhood had defined my life more than any other role I have ever played.  I fell in love with motherhood quite by surprise.  However, it was total on-the-job training.  My poor children had to live with me as I learned.  Many are the mistakes that I made, but I loved the job, hard as it was at times.

Second to the surprise of loving motherhood is the surprise of growing old.  I don't think that anything quite prepared me for it.  I mean you can read about it, but it's all on-the-job training, too. There are things I like and then things I like a whole lot less and there are things I don't like at all. One of the things that was hard for me the other day was seeing a picture of one of my childhood friends. She's had health problems and the picture reflected her stressful life. I remember thinking of her when we were children, climbing trees, playing hop scotch, and jumping rope; and I wanted to cry....for both of us.

In my dream, we were young mothers.  She walked up a hill to me in a park and she was healthy and strong.  It made me so happy to see her so.  I wanted to cry again, sweet tears.  At that point, my son called to me.  He was 3 or 4 year old Nephi.  His hair fell across his brow in that soft way that it did when he was a little boy.  I wish I had touched it more often.  He was crying because something had happened with Clayton that had caused him to scrap the skin on his ankle.  It hadn't drawn blood and shouldn't have been a big deal, but I was filled with empathy for a little boy who had not yet learned how to brush off scrapes.  (He's certainly learned how to brush off much more than that in his 31 years.)  I wasn't the hurried young mother in that moment, the one who was often on to the next task, a tinge of impatience. In my dream, I had the patience and empathy and remembrance of a grammy. I took the time to sooth, to explain, to teach. It was such a tender experience.  I felt warm and happy when I woke up.

How I wish that our bodies started out old and got younger as our minds got older, meeting somewhere in between for the perfect, complete woman.  Okay, even I know that doesn't make sense.

But I believe that there will come a time when we will be restored to the strength and beauty of youth filled with old spirits.  Those bodies and those spirits will have learned all those hard lessons that will serve us into the eternities....meeting in one perfect, complete woman.  And I hope and pray for motherhood and grammyhood in the eternities.