Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The other day, I cried.

I hardly ever cry. Ever. Maybe twice a year. But the other day, I did. See, my sister was getting ready to have a baby, and my Mom was anxiously awaiting the summons. As soon as one of us is in labor, my mom packs up, and camps out at our house. She takes care of everything, and sleeps in the baby's room. When the baby wakes up, she rocks and sings to him (in my case) soothing him as long as she can to give us as much sleep as possible. She plays with the kids, cleans the house, cooks, and we talk and laugh. It's just an indescribably precious time. Here's a picture she took when we were hanging out on the nursery floor.
The other day, it hit me really hard that I won't have a daughter to do that for. Sure, if I'm not obnoxious, and they really like me, I'll have daughters in law to help, but they won't be my flesh and blood. I'll be there by special privilege, and not by right.
Don't get me wrong, I'm usually glad I have all boys. Frequently, when I see someone with their daughter, I'm thinking "There but for the grace of God..." I'm not mourning the fights over clothes, and hair, the whole deal with bras and periods, not that. It's those big monumental moments that I've seen my mom do for us. That's what I mourn.
As I was drying my tears and wiping my nose, I realized that it isn't so much an issue of not having a daughter. This is a universal fact of life. Everyone has dreams that won't happen in their lives- things that we were hoping for that we won't ever do. This life isn't about wish fulfillment, it's about recognizing and glorying in what we have. Some of the most powerful growth experiences are getting over the dreams that will never come true.
That being said, my sister had her baby. Mom was there, on the scene. I live in town with my parents, the only local one of my siblings. Our Dad was in a serious accident a few years ago. His truck rolled 7 times, and he's a walking miracle. He has a lot of cognitive and vision problems though. He can work in the temple, and love on the kids, but he can't read, drive, or do a lot of things we take for granted. The day my sister had her baby, my Dad was diagnosed with an ulcer on his cornea. It's serious business, requiring almost constant care. He'll be hanging out with me, unless he's home sleeping, while my Mom's gone. It hit me this morning, that I may not have a daughter to take care of, but I'm making sure my Mom can. I'm kind of doing it by proxy. That's a gift.

11 comments:

Heeere's J-dude: said...

Seriously - you just made me cry. You, my dear, are the gift and I wish you lived by me because I coul really use a friend like you.

Jenn said...

That is a great attitude. I think you just mastered the point of the whole exercise....
Thanks for taking care of dad. Not everyone gets that opportunity either...

fivekidsandsomechocolate said...

You are such a lovely person and I am thrilled daily knowing you are across the street. Actually, that is the entire reason we bought this house. My #1 would really like to be adopted...on a part time basis.

Abby said...

So there with you "chocolate", except that my across the street is just in the cyberworld. The gift you have been blessed with will bring joy to you and your family to the end of time - it's the secret to happiness. One of my friends recently told me, "God's gifts are wonderful and priceless. But His gift-wrap often leaves much to be desired. . .most of God's gifts come wrapped in pain, anguish and loneliness, but the gifts inside are lasting, eternal and more wonderful than we could even imagine." Thanks for being you.

John & Stephanie's blog said...

You are so sweet, this post made me cry.

It made me think of John's Mom.

She travels miles every time one of her kids has a child and she is there to help, no matter if it's a daughter or a daughter-in-law.

I'm the lucky one at this moment, since all the others won't have any more children. And I miss her, she is so nice, but she'll be here when my next baby arrives.

John has two sisters and one brother, one of the sisters lives close to her mom but never had children, so if we have a girl we are going to give her the same middle name.

I had a similar attitude towards the idea of having a girl, I thought: the clothes, the hair, the teenage years, I don't want to go through that. :)

I always preferred boys: they carry on the family name, they receive the Priesthood.
But lately, not knowing if the Heavenly Father will bless me with more children after my second one, I have been wishing for a girl too.

Doran & Jody said...

I also ache. But I ache for sisters. I have always wanted a sister. Someone to share dreams, plans or whatever. I have been blessed with three wonderful daughters, that are now in adulthood and I just love it. But how we wish we could have had a son. I guess we just need to be thankful for the family that we do have, and enjoy each moment. Be a support to our family members like your mother is to her girls and like you are to your parents. Keep up the good work.

Allison said...

I have shed tears about the same thing, but you are right....the feeling is not unique to our situation. Some people mourn not having been able to serve a mission, others not having a son and you are SO right in recognizing that there is so much more to rejoice and glory in than there is to be sorrowful about. I, too, count myself blessed to know you and feel of your strength and testimony so often. I even quoted something you once said on Sunday! You are a gift.

Dweezleboss said...

Sometimes, mothers-in-law are MORE available than our own mothers--to my sorrow, my mother has not even once been there when one of my babies was born--but gratefully, my mother-in-law was. Don't borrow trouble! You never know. Special priviledges indeed. You are as much entitled as your daughter-in-law's mother.

I am overwhelmed at what the Lord can and does do with our lives and for us. He has the most amazing ideas. Continue to enjoy the journey!!

Jodi said...

What a beautiful post. I can so relate to it. You said it so perfectly. I too have often mourned the fact that I won't have the same opportunities that mothers of daughters have. I just keep praying that I will have really cool DIL that love me and I can be a part of their lives. What I miss is being able to go shopping with them. I have no sisters either and so that is a toughie for me. I do have great SIL and that is a huge blessing. I guess it really comes down to what we focus on. There are blessings in all things. Thank you for being so open and honest! I feel like you're my sister!!! Wanna go shopping?;)

Kate said...

Hi Missy, I love your blog. This is Kate (Brandon Lang's wife). I thought I'd check out your stories, Bette always has good things to say about how well you write and how creative you are. I'm dreading in a few years of the fighting over the bathroom and clothes. You are truly blessed.

The Clan of the Crazies said...

I really do appreciate it too. It's so nice to be able to have all of her and not worry about over-burdening her when she is needed somewhere else. Thank you SO SO SO much for giving that to me.