Whether I show this to them proudly or they stumble across it secretly, they’ll be able to find all the words and thoughts and fears and questions I squirreled away in this small place, my secret hideout, my safe breathing space during the chaos of early parenthood.
(Because we all know the interwebs, even surer than elephants, never forget.)
I wonder what they’ll think when they read this. Will they roll their eyes at my drama? (Probably.) Will they laugh at my sentimentality? (Likely.) Will they wonder why I made such a fuss out of every worry that flitted across my new mama mind? (Undoubtedly.)
But here’s my deeper hope. I hope that if they become parents someday, they might dip their toes down into this swirling mess of my words and touch solid bottom.
That they can find camaraderie and companionship in knowing that I had no clue what I was doing either, but I loved them something fierce.
That they will remember that the long arc of the relationship of mother and child, despite its daily dips and difficulties, the tempers and the trying stages, bends towards a deep, lasting bond.
That they might seek solace in their own words-as-prayer, no matter what calling their path finds.
A wise friend once wrote to me that she saw my efforts at trying to raise children in faith as putting little invisible slips of paper with God’s phone number on it in the pockets of the pants and jackets they will wear out in the world someday, helping to make sure that when they need it, they’ll have it. Because that’s all we can do.
I’ve never forgotten her words. And while the songs and prayers I teach them now, the books we read and the churches we visit, the stories we wonder at together and the questions we can’t explain – while all of that is part of the scribbling I do, tucking love notes from God inside the corners of their hearts, the musing and mumbling I do here in this space is part of it as well.
Maybe someday they’ll stumble upon something I wrote, about struggling with faith or struggling with the world’s brokenness, and they’ll pause and think, too. I’m not so naive as to believe they’ll share my questions or so audacious as to assume my thoughts will shed wisdom on their lives. But if they can find a moment’s companionship here, an affirmation that faith can run deep while questions run deeper, a stubborn declaration that even when it wasn’t popular or sexy or clear or easy, I tried my hardest to understand and love the God who is Love, then I will consider these stumblings worth the cost.
And maybe, just maybe, if they become parents themselves, and the transition or the transformation isn’t easy, but by God it’s the most humbling school of humanity they could ever find, then I’ll happily meet them there. Because the journey of becoming their mother, of learning from them every day how flawed I am but how wide my heart can stretch, has been the gift of my life.
And that is a story I’m happy to tell them over and over again.