First Mother’s Day

May 11th, 2008 by Rainey

Today was my first mother’s day.  And I was surprisingly emotional.  I didn’t expect that.  But I was.

Conan gave me the absolutely most perfect mother’s day gift.  A framed and matted lithograph of a hen with her chick, called “Hunt and Peck” that I love so much.

The church was chock-full of red geraniums that people had bought in honor or memory of women in their lives.  The secretaries at the office put one in honor of “Rainey ‘Super Mom’ Sidewhites,” which was pretty cool and very touching, as they see me at not my best mothering moments sometimes.  Have I mentioned how lucky I am to have such an amazing office full of surrogate grandmothers, aunties, and one very great surrogate grandpa in my senior pastor?  I am.

Zeke was dedicated at the later service and looked jaunty and cute in a little sailboat embroidered set of blue overalls.  We pledged to raise him in faith and the congregation pledged to be his family of faith, loving him and caring for him.  It isn’t hard to believe that they take that charge seriously.  Because they are already family to him and to us.  It was very meaningful.

There were six babies dedicated at the 11 o’clock service and one at the 8:30.  It was great in the later service to hear all those children bouncing to the anthems, cooing at their parents, and generally being babies through the service.  The sermon was on Jesus calling the little children to him and it was being acted out in the pews as these parents held squirming little ones and showed them what it meant to be a part of a church family, a gathered, worshiping community.

After church we headed over to D & M’s house for a mother’s day cookout with their parents and D’s sister, brother-in-law and two year old nephew.  I spent most of the afternoon walking around the house with D’s nephew, who demanded my attention by holding out his hand and then, when I grabbed it, pulling me around the rooms, pointing out things in his broken sentences.  When he wanted me to stop what I was doing to play he would say, “Done!?”  or “Come!”  He was too cute and it made me think about the years ahead when Zeke is old enough to run around and speak and make truck noises and talk to his dessert in humms and yumms.  I can’t wait.

We are so blessed with our son.  He is happy–kicking in his bassinet with wide eyes and laughs, splashing in the tub.  He is sweet–reaching out to touch our faces when we bend over him.  Smiling and cooing at us.  Turning towards our voices when we enter rooms.  He is beautiful and dear and precious to us.  And it just keeps getting better everyday.

So even though I guess I don’t always buy into the whole “Mommyhood” fiction, where things are perfect and always revolve around your child, I do feel especially blessed today.  Because I know women who wished for children, but were unable to have them.  And I know women who have lost children.  And I just can’t imagine my life without this little one.  So it was a good day, but also one that was very emotional, recognizing what a gift we have been given.  I think that is what mother’s day is really about.  Not only celebrating the hard work of mothers, but also a day to remind mothers of how lucky they are, what a responsibility they have been given, and what a good and blessed thing it is to be able to live your life in the presence of children.

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