Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Special Mother

I remember reading “The Special Mother” by Erma Bombeck during my pumping times in the NICU. It was framed in the pumping room. I wrote it all down by hand and put it away to remember forever. I just found it tonight. It just brought the memories back for me. I thought it was fitting to post, since we're gearing up to March for Babies (formally known as March of Dimes).

The Special Mother
Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures and a couple by habit.
This year thousands of mothers will give birth to a premature baby. Did you ever wonder how mothers of preemies are chosen?
Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation.
As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.
“Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron saint, Matthew.“Forest, Majorie, daughter. Patron saint, Ceceila.“Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron saint… give her Gerard. He’s used to profanity.
Finally, He passes a name to an angel and smiles, “Give her a premature baby.”
The angel is curious. “Why this one, God? She’s so happy.”
“Exactly,” smiles God. “Could I give a premature baby to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel.”
“But does she have patience?” asks the angel.
“I don’t want her to have too much patience, or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she’ll handle it.”
“I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence that are so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I’m going to give her has his own world. She has to make it live in her world and that’s not going to be easy.”
“But, Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you.”God smiles, “No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.”
The angel gasps, “Selfishness? Is that a virtue?”God nods. “If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally, she’ll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child who comes in a less than perfect way. She doesn’t realize it yet, but she is to be envied.”
“She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says ‘Mommy’ for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations.”
“I will permit her to see clearly the things I see - ignorance, cruelty, prejudice - and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.”
“And what about her patron saint?” asks the angel, the pen poised in mid-air.
God smiles. ”A mirror will suffice.”
-Adapted from Erma Bombeck
Motherhood: The Second Oldest Profession
Please support this cause that is so close to our hearts, if not us - then someone you may know that has had a premature baby or babies.


Mommy23miracles said...

That's such a great poem, it always makes me cry...your kids are so beautiful! They were so tiny!

Stephanie said...

Everytime I read that it makes me bawl! Thanks for posting that!


Krista said...

Beautiful poem! The kids take my breath away - then and now. They are so awesome. I don't know if it's the closeup - but Ayden looks exactly the same!!