Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Learning to Compartmentalize Well

There is something about having several children that teaches a mother how to love more than one person completely, equally, but differently, all at one time.  There is also some built-in mechanism that creates the ability for a mother to have each one of her children believe that they are the favorite, at any given moment, but to hold onto that knowledge without making the other siblings feel badly about it.  This ability, this innate capacity to divide one's attention and affection is what makes a mother unique.  If there were a job description for motherhood, one of the qualifications would surely be; Must be able to compartmentalize well.  

So, I have learned over the past twenty-one years.  I have learned to divide and conquer.  I have learned to place all of my energy into being a wife and a mother.  I have learned through on-the-job training.  I have learned without the benefit of having a good example.  I have learned through trial and error.  I have learned to compartmentalize well.  I would be the first one to admit that I have not always done everything right, but my intentions were always in the right place and for that, I will give myself credit.  If someone accused me of being somewhat over-protective, overly-concerned, or sometimes over-indulgent with my four Angel Daughters, I would have to accept blame.  They are my life.  However, after reading a poem that Angel Daughter Number Four wrote for a school assignment, I can now see the other side of blame.  It is all about perspective.

The days moved on,
And we were young.
It was only us girls and not a son.
Pure joy within one's soul,
For we were starting to grow old,
In the very own heart of our home.

She is the cause for who I am.
And yes, I blame her.
I blame her for making me happy,
I blame her for helping me through every step,
She is the blame for creating and raising me without mistakes.
She is my mother.

Everything started out wonderfully.
Yet little did she know, an illness was on its way.
There was no warning sign, but thankfully,
It was nothing that was going to sway her away.
And carrying on with nothing but hope,
She was not one to sit around and mope.

For she is like a piece of seaglass,
Long lasting and beautiful.
She has been tossed around and tumbled through the waters,
But she comes out prettier and more original than before.
And with God on our side, she is still and will always be blessed.

Because of her I can.
Because of her, I am.

-Copied with permission of Angel Daughter Number Four, my fifteen year old.

Because of my four daughters, I have learned not only how to compartmentalize, but also how to do it well.  I have also learned that the more we love, the better we become at loving.  And yes, I blame my children for that.

Looking through some photos which were taken this past weekend, I came across the one that I posted above.  It is a picture of me and my four Angel Daughters, but it captured something much more quiet and private than a family moment.  It captured a look and a unique connection which I share with my youngest daughter.  Yes, I have this with all four of my daughters and yes, there are different times when the connection comes across in a glance or a smile, but mostly, it is something that can only be explained in feelings.  Feelings of knowing that there will not only always be enough room to share, but also to own.  My girls have never asked me which one of them is my favorite, and maybe this is because each one of them understands that in their own way, they are all my favorites.  They each hold a certain space inside of my heart which can never be changed, shared or replaced.  I love each one of them separately, uniquely and the most. 


Jenn-n-n said...

Simply Beautiful .... such wonderful words given as a gift from a daughter to her mother!

Debbie said...

I see that she has definitely inherited your gift for writing. What a beautiful poem. A treasure.

Irene Latham said...

"she is like a piece of sea glass" LOVE. Tell AD4 she needs to KEEP WRITING. How lucky they are to have you, Deb. xxoo

jenX67 said...

i totally saw the connection the second my eyes landed on this photo. it's a very compelling photograph.

i always worry about playing favorites. sometimes, when i'd coo over bridgy, i'd move to juilette and talk to her in the same sing-songy happy baby voice i'd use with my newborn. at 10, she got a real kick out of it, but i have to say, she still wanted to be cradled, too, and wrapped in a warm towel by momma after her bath. parenting is so hard - and so wonderful.

love to you DW!

Catherine Holman said...

What a sweet daughter and what a great heart!

rivergardenstudio said...

What a lovely poem, straight from your daughters heart... maybe she will be a writer like her mama... Roxanne

Angel... said...

What a sweet have a very good family.
love always,

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