“Mothers” by Daughter and “Everything Changes” from Waitress the Musical

Dedicated to all the miracle-seeking mamas, especially my own.♥

This piece has been a long time coming.

Just like this blog. And just like this life.

I, like millions of other strong-hearted women, have learned many useful things in my lifetime: how to cook a meal, how to teach a room full of children, how to love with my whole heart, how to effectively cover up my zits…

But I’ve also learned to keep some horrible habits. Among them is the habit I keep of blaming my circumstances for my crappy feelings. My many blessings and faith do not seem to matter much when anger and resentment and fear come calling, and when they do, I immediately find the closest thing I wish were different and give it a good verbal lashing. Whether that thing has anything to do with the anger or resentment or fear is of little consequence. My human mind looks for some thing to blame, to act as the altar upon which I can slaughter the chaos with my rhetoric.

Somehow this is supposed to make me feel better, but it usually makes me feel like crawling into the ground and fading away.

I know. Gross.

It occurs to me that, instead of destruction, I can choose creation. I can even choose reparation. Instead of tearing a thing down, I can build a thing back up, or even create something new that is beautiful and life-giving to counteract the thing that is not. Just as often as I walk around listing off all the things that never seem to change, I should be counting also the things that have changed, for the better. (For more on this, see Sister Beth‘s teaching here.)

Isn’t this what mothers do?

When I look at my boy, whether he’s smiling or screaming at me, I can see all the things that have gone right. He’s breathing. He has a strong heartbeat. He can see me. He has LIFE, precious and new and full of learning, every moment, taking in another new thing. Tiny miracle after tiny miracle, adding up to one giant miraculous song, some melody to swell in my ears and make me know beyond a doubt that love is real. And that I was made for this.

I don’t see all the things he can’t do yet. I see what he is learning to do now. I see growth.

THIS is what mothers do.

It sounds like a ‘silver lining’ philosophy. Maybe it is. But it seems like more than that.

Because these miracles are brighter than just a dim light around a storm cloud. They power the sun!

These tiny miracles, or these things that have gone ‘right,’ are not dependent upon any feeling to sustain their truth or importance. They stand alone. Neither are they vulnerable to my crappy feelings. These miracles, they are very forgiving. They are true even when my eyes are distracted by the chaos, even when my focus shifts. And there are so many. Think about it. How many things had to go ‘right’ just so you can be sitting here reading all of this? We could spend way more time, in fact, identifying the things that go ‘right,’ than we could listing off the things that are all screwed up. In fact, there are really only one or two screwed up things that tend to monopolize my thoughts. And I am in the habit of letting them do just that. I need a different kind of habit. (Let’s not even peek behind this other curtain: that these things that don’t go ‘right’ might also serve some grander purpose for good…)

I am a mother now. I will have my moments, but mostly, I’m learning that mothers are miracle-seekers. We have a pull like gravity towards the incredible, the small but the heavy, the exquisite pain of what is many times an unrequited love. Some of us know it from the first glance, but all of us know it from the immense and painstakingly slow ascent up the mountain of sleeplessness and constant concern that is raising a child, the same one with the breathtaking views of watching that child grow and become and LOVE. We see their faces, we hear the sweet notes of their cries and laughter, and we see and hear beauty. Not every time, but most of the time. It’s a miracle.

And I’m daring to believe that this skill is transferable. That I can see miracles, the things that go ‘right,’ in other roles I play in this life. Starting now.

Who’s with me?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Mothers” by Daughter

This band comes recommended by my brother-in-law. I’m glad he told me. I relate to the lyrics and the musically chaotic ending. It is just like motherhood- beautifully challenging!

You will grow all you need to grow inside my spine
And then take what you need to take, what’s yours is mine
And then just give all you want of it to some new thing
I’ll stay here, the provider of that constant sting they call love
They call love

You will drain all you need to drain out of me
All the colors have washed away, no more rosy sheen
Not just a pale isolated shallow water place
Oh what a place I call myself
I call myself

Oh love all you need to love before it goes
When your face becomes a stranger’s I don’t know
You will never remember who I was to you
Carried in the womb
I’m called mother
I’m called mother
They’re called home
They’re called home
They’re called
They’re called
Mothers
Mothers

Give all you need to give
And sometimes they won’t take what they need to take
The strangest chemical reaction
Inside of her brain, no she’s not the same
No she’s not the same
No she’s not the same

 

“Everything Changes”

This song is all HOPE. In its movie version, the entire world stops as Jenna, the new mama, lays eyes on her baby girl for the first time. And things become clear to her then.

Today’s a day like any other, but I am changed I am a mother oh
In a instant, and who I was has disappeared
It doesn’t matter, now you’re here, so innocent
I was lost for you to find
And now I’m yours and you are mine

Two tiny hands, a pair of eyes
An unsung melody is mine for safekeeping
And I will guard it with my life
I’d hang the moon for it to shine on her sleeping
Starting here, and starting now
I can feel the heart of how

Everything changes
Oh my heart’s at the wheel now
And all my mistakes, they make sense
When I turn them around
Everything changes
What I thought was so permanent fades
And I swear I’ll remember to say
We were both born today
Oh and it’s true, what did I do
To deserve you

I didn’t know, but now I see
Sometimes what is, is meant to be
You’ve saved me
My blurry lines, my messy life
Coming to focus and in time, maybe
I can heal and I can breathe
Cause I can feel myself believe

That everything changes
Oh my heart’s at the wheel now
And all my mistakes, they make sense
When I turn them around
Everything changes
What I thought was so permanent fades
And I swear I’ll remember to say
We were both born today
Oh and it’s true, what did I do
To deserve you, thank God for you

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