So I'm (roughly) six weeks away from uncharted territory. According to (what seemed pretty clear to everyone in the room) my ultra sound at 20 weeks, we're going to give birth to a son sometime (God-willing) shortly after Easter.
First, and a bit of an aside, I must say that each year, Lent seems like this huge, formidable force separating me from spring, new life, and even in some ways, Christ himself. Of course I know that Christ never separates himself from me, and frankly, by the time Lent is finished, if I've given myself over to it, I'm closer to Christ than any other time of the year. Either way, when the week of Ash Wednesday arrives, I feel like I have a massive chasm in front of me.
This year...at the same time...I feel as though meeting my baby is right around the corner! It's hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that there's an entire Lent between me and my son (God-willing). What an amazing gift of waiting and preparation I've been given in such a tangible way this time.
Ok, back to my original post idea.
I just read a post about Mary, the Mother of God, on a blog called Caritas et Veritas. It was so beautiful and the line "All of Christianity can be summed up as a love story between a mother and a son" was so touching to me.
What kind of mother will I be to this little man? You'd think, after two kids, that I'd already have some kind of idea about that one...and to an extent I do. I don't think, especially right at first, that things are going to be radically different. But, despite what some say, boys and girls are different...and to treat them as if they're not is a disservice to them....but to exaggerate things unnecessarily is a disservice as well.
What I think about a lot is the ways in which I will fail as a mother (hey, I'm a melancholic). Times when I will yell (do yell) rather than asking questions. Times when I will get frustrated in the middle of the night rather than just giving a hug and saying a prayer. Times when I will forget that this little man won't be little forever and that some day I'll be wishing to have my plans halted so I can play with him or rock him or listen to his story. I already feel those things now with my girls.....I wonder in what ways it will be different this time around.
In those times of failure, I pray that Mother Mary will tap me on the shoulder (or more likely on the heart) and show me how to love my son the way that she loved hers. God-willing, I'll never have to endure even a fraction of the heartache that she did upon the death of her Son, but who better than her to show me, no matter what suffering I do endure, how to wipe his tears, pray for him, comfort him, teach him, kiss away his pain for as long as that works, and most of all to love him.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for Us.