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Nothing has altered, blessed, challenged, rewarded, or complicated my life as much as being a mom.  When I was very young and playing house it all seemed pretty simple.  Of course the baby was inanimate, silent and plastic and the laundry and dishes invisible.  Little did I know all that actually comes with motherhood.

When our first baby finally made her debut, I clearly remember feeling awe, joy and a sense of accomplishment.  I had just completed Childbirth 101 and passed the final.  I had just joined an enormous group of women who had done the same since the beginning of time.  I was now a member of a very important and distinguished group: mommies.

Moms give of themselves 24/7, usually without a second thought.  My mom still gives to me.  Even though our relationship has changed she is often still the giver.  She gives counsel, a listening ear, a joyful cheer when something good happens, friendship, support, unconditional love and more.  She doesn’t seem to mind that our relationship is still a little lop-sided at times.

I remember so clearly the first time I called her, when I was a young mom, to apologize for the way I acted when I was little.  She just laughed and said “that’s okay.”  All of the sudden, now that I myself was a mom, I had a new perspective and realized she really did know what she was talking about back when I was a stubborn kid…she was pretty smart after all!  And I felt the frustration and sometimes bewilderment she must have felt when raising a little me.  As my girls became teenagers, those calls to apologize to my mom for my teen behavior increased in frequency.

I’m a grown up now with girls who are just about grown up, too, but I still need and long for my mom’s hugs.  I still love to talk with her, get messages from her, ask her opinion and advice and all those mom things she’s given all my life.  I still love to hear when she’s proud of me, deep in my heart still wanting her approval.  I need her.

She’s always been there for me and seems to be okay with that.  I understand that because as a mom I want to be here for and give to my girls as long as we live, whenever they need me.  I’ll never get tired of giving whatever I can give.  I want to be needed that way, even though the ways I give to them keep changing with our changing relationships.

Why do mommies give and give?  Why do they stick it out during wearisome power struggles and keep loving in the face of defiance or disrespect?  Why do they pray, encourage, cook, play, hug, discipline, drive, teach, make costumes, attend field trips, spend money, wait up at night and a bazillion other things?

It’s because of that God-given, unique, determined, unlimited, strong as steel but soft & warm as towels fresh out of the dryer LOVE that filled every space in their whole heart when they joined the distinguished order of mommies.

I’m proud and grateful to be a lifetime member.