Mother, I love you.
Mother I do.
Father in Heaven has sent me to you.
(Primary songbook, #207)
“Shall we excuse the Sunbeams early today?”
The whole Primary looked relieved. With Singing Time on pause, teachers (whose hard-day-on-the-ranch had just begun) rounded-up thirteen three-year-olds and headed out. The culprit behind the banditos starred me down as he brought up the rear. He’d really outdone himself that day, exciting the herd into a frenzy. I’d caught on and dismissed them before they would have stampeded anyway. As soon as the dust settled, we went back to practicing our Mother’s Day program.
Twenty-four hours later I had a run-in with Bandito at the town saloon (Applebees at lunchtime.) Instead of shooting me, he lit up like the stars of Wyoming. His mommy said that he had come home from Primary on fire the day before.
“Mommy!” he had bubbled, “The Curly Lady said Heavenly Father sent me to YOU!”
His delightful interpretation of lyrical doctrine gave my curly head lots to muse about this week. Does Heavenly Father send specific spirits to specific women for specific reasons? What about my own four children?
In youth, I felt impervious to adversity; that is, until my first baby grew physically -- but not mentally. I had sensed an impending challenge for months, even when everything seemed perfectly normal. Slightly-more-experienced friends had laughed when I confessed my fears. But mommies are realists, not mythmakers (contrary to popular thought) and I knew before the doctors knew. Twenty-nine years later, I bathe, dress, transport and feed her, aaannnd don’t-u-know: that’ll mold or melt a person.
A second baby arrived, and though thrilled with a healthy boy, my intuition kicked into high gear. I sensed a call to brace myself. His super-charged intellect has taken me through so many hills and valleys and twists and turns, I have felt upside-down for most of his twenty-seven years. It took me almost that long to get my heart on straight; its capacity for charity has grown at least “three sizes.” I love him in a way that I can love no one else.
During a third pregnancy, I discerned a different sort of personality. Even prenatally, this child soothed and comforted me. Like a warm blanket, his humility, consistency, and sweet creativity have calmed my heart. Following close behind came his compatriot - and mine: a daughter who shouldered the responsibilities of a firstborn in cheerfully caring for her sister and leading an exemplary life. I felt our team spirit by the time she turned two.
Musing on these things, I couldn’t help humming “Mother I love you…” over and over this week. With each repetition of “Father in Heaven has sent me to you…” I felt the Spirit bear testimony to its truthfulness. THERE IS A REASON.
Our omnipotent Father planted me in my circumstances. He also planted them. I am THEIR mama because of what I, in particular, can do for them; that is the more obvious truth. My every breath is for their sake. What has not always been so obvious is that they are my children because of what they can do for me. My character burst out of the ground when those particular personalities sprang into my life. I grew as they grew; our individual strengths and weaknesses intertwining in a garden that is our own. I am the fruits of my children.
Leading the banditos in their Mothers Day presentation will have more meaning, now that I have mused over their song… I’ll be thinking how little cowpokes, under all those wild-west wiggles, are very much at home on their particular range…
BECAUSE that IS exactly where they are supposed to be.
Mother, I love you.