May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice! ~ Proverbs 23: 25
Becoming a mother was one of the most anticipated moments of my life. Finally conceiving after trying for two long years, I thought everything would be smooth sailing from here on out.
Boy, was I wrong.
My beautiful little girl, Elise, was born with a definite mind of her own, and believe me, there was no changing it. From the time she was 18 months old, I knew I had my hands full. I thought she’d just entered the terrible two’s a little early. Wrong. This was her personality and I was going to have to deal with it.
This wasn’t easy for me. As a first- born myself, I could can be a little obstinate as well. It was a stand-off most days as I tried to get her to follow my rules while she was busy making her own. My husband would come home and wonder what in the world all of the fuss was about. I’d be in tears trying to deal with this little person whom I had no control over and, being the baby of the family himself, he couldn’t understand why I just wouldn’t let it go. Hmmph! He wasn’t the one home all day trying to deal with her.
Our darling little daughter was so obstinate she would stand at the top of the stairs screaming at the top of her lungs (she was eight when she started this) wanting us to come up and tuck her in one more time, get her a glass of water (there was a bathroom upstairs with little paper cups) or any other excuse she could think of. Me and my husband would lie in bed, him laughing at her while I wanted to run upstairs and turn her over my knee. Eventually, she’d stop and go back to bed, but not until she’d completely worn herself out.
I finally broke down and read Dr. James Dobson’s book, The Strong-Willed Child. Elise most certainly fell into this category and I needed help. Instead, I ended up in a puddle of tears thinking there were only two options for my daughter—becoming the CEO of a major organization, or prison. The latter one being the future I most likely envisioned for her. There were no other options, or so I thought. Maybe I should have read the whole book. Anywaaaay…
I suffered through many of her obstinate spells over and over and over again, continuing beyond even her middle school years. Some days I believed my bright girl was going to be a rebellious teen who’d never want to come home.
Boy, was I wrong.
Today, when I look at my stunningly beautiful, both inside and out, 20 year-old daughter I am so humbled. She now attends a wonderful Christian university where she is part of a group that travels each weekend singing and sharing the gospel of Jesus. She has one of the biggest servant hearts I’ve ever seen, always putting others first, sometimes even to her detriment. She’s majoring in marketing and wants to go into real estate, while possibly continuing her singing in evangelical venues.
Best of all, she loves to come home. According to her, it’s her favorite place to be in the world. 🙂
She is my best friend.
When she was working on her senior project in high school, she decided to write three songs and record a CD for her submission. Below is one of the songs she ended up recording.
With her hair in messy curls
It seems like now so long ago
You look at all the photographs
Wish that we could all go back
And relive all the times…relive all the times
Mama remember… when all the times
Mama remember… you’d comfort me with love
You taught me everything I need to know
Always there watching me grow
You believed in me and all
You saved me through those school years
So many days full of tears
Kept me moving in the right direction
You gave me strength to overcome
You picked me up when I was down
You always got me through… always got me through
This little girl time has changed
Now a woman moves away
You made me the person I am today
Gave me courage to chase my dreams
Now it’s time to spread my wings
You made me who I am… made me who I am
As she read me the words to this song, I began weeping uncontrollably. When she finished, I cried for a solid half-hour. I couldn’t help it. My daughter, whom I’d worried and fretted over the last 17 years, had risen up and called me blessed. All of the tantrums, frustrations and tears had been worth it.
I don’t tell you this to brag on me or my daughter. I tell you this to you to give you hope.
If you’re in the throes of motherhood right now, dealing with a child you can’t imagine becoming a productive and contributing member of society, don’t give up. It will be worth every moment you’ve invested into that little life to see them one day grow up and appreciate what you’ve done for them. You’re my hero. And you’ll become their hero, too. Our society needs moms who are in it for the long haul. Just ask my daughter…
Do you have a story of hope born out of the difficulties of motherhood? Please share it below. You never know what mom needs to hear it today.