Chopper told me he was worried about how much he should do for Mother's Day -- would it be nice or send me over the edge? And I did seriously consider skipping Relief Society today but was more or less ordered to go by friends and actually I was ok. In fact, the only tears today have happened while watching "Call the Midwife" and that happens anyway!!
But that doesn't mean it hasn't been on my mind. I guess the big difference is that I am a mother and I have 4 beautiful children, one of whom is temporarily on vacation from our family. My heart aches for my friends who don't have children because they've been unable to and there is nothing anyone can say or do that makes that better.
But I've learned a few things.
This is not the end.
I have agonizing (and probably will for a long time to come) over the size of our family. I've always wanted a big one. When we were pregnant with Aaron, Chopper and I decided he was the last. After all, 4 kids, one of whom would need a tremendous amount of attention and medical care is a good sized family. Now that he's gone, I want another baby to hold in my arms but I'm also ready to move on the next stage of family life so to speak. So I'm getting healthy just in case. But I've talked to myself a lot about being done and about my reality not meeting my expectations of family life. And the past few weeks, even though I have missed Aaron terribly, I have clung to the knowledge that this is not the end. This is not the end of our family. Yes, we'll raise Aaron later -- he is and will always be our son -- but I also believe those who are not mothers here will be mothers there.
Joseph Smith said, "All your losses will be made up to you in the resurrection, provided you continue faithful. By the vision of the Almighty I have seen it.”
Thank you very much but I will hold him to that saying. Funny how we all have expectations of what life should be when really, did any of us have a clue? But I hear it in the whining of my children (that's not fair!) and I see it in myself. So another thing that I have learning and am learning to hold on to is that I am not shooting for having it all now. That's not, or shouldn't be, my goal. I want it all when I am judged by my Heavenly Father. The problem is, it seems so far away and I don't really know what it all is and so it's difficult not to mourn my losses.
And I'm not saying that we shouldn't mourn. Christ has asked us to "mourn with those that mourn, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort." Before raising Lazarus from the dead he cried with Mary and Martha and I can't even imagine the tears that were shed both on earth and in heaven over His atonement and resurrection despite knowing that they were necessary in order to bring greater joy. But the grief cannot consume me because hope and joy are at the end.
So today I am grateful for both of my parents because they raised me in the Gospel with prayer and scriptures and love. I'm grateful that I am a mother 4 times over. I'm grateful for that role in my life -- for the ability and experience of bringing children into this world and grateful for a husband who works hard so that I can stay home with those kids and who relieves the burden when it is simply too much and I'm a cranky, angry mom.
I'm grateful for William's laugh and his funny run and for Abby's perpetual excitement and her need to be close and cuddle. I'm grateful for Megan's mind with her questions and comments and for her completely off-key voice when she's singing at the top of her lungs. I'm not sure that I'm grateful for the fighting or the whining or the tantrums but then I guess if it was roses all the time I wouldn't appreciate them!
So we bought the kids a pool because it has been HOT and our pool doesn't open until Memorial Day. I took a bunch of pictures and some video because it was one of those moments when everything IS just perfect and I love it. And William's excitement over the girls sliding into the pool is enough to sustain me through his terrorizing all this week!!
Ok so I realize the pictures are mostly William but really, it's only his second summer!! I think all of this probably feels very new to him.