January 31, 2012

a good mom

We were standing in the Chiang Mai airport, at a crossroads.  The kids and I were being ushered through one gate, headed home, while Grandpa and "Grammy," as Jubilee took to calling her, were going to need to find their own gate, headed to Bangkok, then Tokyo, then Washington, then Chicago, then home.

This goodbye was easier than goodbyes prior, at least on my part.  I knew that I would see my mom and dad again in early summertime, LORD willing, so I was prepared to give each of their shoulders a quick squeeze and be on my way.  Clearing security with four small children is no menial task, after all, and I was eager to get it over with.

But then my mom said to me, mid-squeeze, "You are such a good mom," and I found myself not wanting to let go of her velour jumpsuit.  Next came, you guessed it, the tears, because of all the things a girl wants in life, hearing her mother say she is doing alright tops the list. 
The thing is, I don't feel like a very good mom, especially in the last five months since Jubilee came home.  Just this morning, and I'll go ahead and blame it on the six hours, post-travel, that we all slept last night, I barked at her when she pulled the bookmark out of Bright's chapter book.

That's the sort of the thing that happens around here.  Jubilee's great English and easy-going personality make me forget that she is still new to us, and new to our way of living, our culture.  The other kids have known what a bookmark is since they were babies, and they learned early on not to remove one from a book.  Jubilee, on the other hand, saw two googly eyes looking at her from the nightstand, and she thought someone had left her a prize.

"Jubilee, NO!!" I growled wearily, and her face fell.  I had done it again.


What, then, was my mom referring to while we hugged at the airport?  What made her say that I was good at this?  I think I know.  It is the same thing that makes me remember her as a good mom, in spite of the times she undoubtedly growled at me.

It is the same reason Jubilee reached for me with her little arms this morning, which are deep brown from our trip to the tropics.  While I hung my head with regret, too ashamed to even look at her, she planted her lips against my cheek in a gentle kiss.

Because of all the things a person wants in life, to be loved tops the list.

I was loved, I had a good mom.  My kids are loved, they have a good mom.  Mother's who love their kids should know, "You are such a good mom."