Thursday

Being a Mother is an Exercise in Great Faith...

When I woke up a few weeks ago I heard a tragic story on the radio. A little girl died at the hospital after choking on a hot dog at school. Another morning I heard about a little girl who died after a television fell on her. Yesterday, I finally heard the entire Trayvon Martin story. An unarmed seventeen year old boy who was walking through a neighborhood and was shot dead by a vigilante "neighborhood watch" person. 
When I hear these types of stories I feel a range of emotions. First, I go into lawyer mode. I think of the injustice, wonder whose fault it was, and think about the resulting lawsuit.

However, my lawyer instincts are short lived.  The law is focused on justice, retribution and monetary compensation. All are really inadequate forms of relief when you're talking about the loss of a child. My mother instincts quickly kick in. I immediately think about the loss to that community, to that family, and to that mother. Children are such blessings. They transform their families and those around them. When they leave us prematurely the void is extreme.

My mother instincts make me focus on prevention--how can we work together to prevent a similar tragedy. Still, I understand that for the affected family, life will never be the same.

I won't disrespect the experience of the mothers involved in these tragedies by saying that I understand. I don't.

What I do know is how much I love my daughter.

Our family feels like we have been waiting for my daughter our entire lives. She has given us so much.  I know that every day with her is a blessing that we aren't worthy to receive. If I allowed myself to think about this constantly I would be consumed with fear. I would be worried every minute of every day. I would worry about whether my daughter should attend school, watch television, or walk through a neighborhood. That fear could paralyze me.

I know that I wouldn't be any good to my family if I were consumed by fear. For that reason, since I have been a mom I have been praying. I have been praying like I have never prayed before.  I don't think that I'm different than most moms.  I don't think that it is possible to mother effectively without exercising great faith. It is the only way to maintain your sanity.

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