Monday, April 2, 2012

My mission as a mother

When I was just a young mother of one small child I came across this quote:
"When I was a child, love to me was what the sea is to a fish; something you swim in while you are going about the important affairs of life.”     ~ P. L. Travers
I knew, right then and there as I read those words that they summed up my goal as a mother.  I wanted, for my beautiful daughter and any other children God might someday send my way, a life so full of love it would be like swimming in a sea of it.  I wanted my children to be immersed entirely in a world *overflowing* with love.  I even wanted my children to take for granted that they were loved and adored, not because I wanted them to be ungrateful but because I wanted to them to know nothing less than an atmosphere of unconditional love and acceptance.  I wanted the mere idea of a life void of love to be so completely foreign that the thought of such a thing would never ever cross their minds.  I wanted being loved, and lovable, to never be given even a passing thought, as I am sure a fish never even considers the water it swims in.

It seems these days everyone has a mission statement-- churches, businesses, organizations, and institutions of all kinds.  If ever I was to draft a mission statement as a mother, it would be to do whatever P.L. Travers' mother did to inspire the above statement.
My mission is to raise my children in a world so filled with love, they feel like little fishies swimming about in it every day.

It has been years and years since I first encountered P.L. Travers’ beautiful quote  and I can only pray that I come close to achieving it each day as I work to raise my children to be the people God created them to be.  

I don’t know, day to day, how well I am really doing.  I do know, though, that I truly do love my children for the people they are today and the people I see them becoming as they grow and learn.  And besides loving each of them individually and personally, I really like them as well.  I enjoy spending time with them and sharing my days with them and I can only hope that my delight in them shows.  

I am not a perfect mother.  I have days that are marked by more mistakes than successes as far as parenting goes, and days I feel guilty for my impatience and selfishness.  I do not always treat my children with the love I feel for them, or the love I know they deserve.  I am pretty sure, if ever they were asked though, my children would answer with confidence that, yes their mother, and father, do love them unconditionally and completely, without a doubt.    In fact, despite my imperfections, I'm pretty sure my children do feel like they are swimming in love, at least, most of the time.

My oldest and youngest ponder some creatures of the sea.

Watching little fishies swim in tiny tide pools.

Surrounded by the Gulf all around, my boys are fascinated by all they encounter at the beach near our home.

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