The young Mommy thought, "I must be the best Mommy God has ever blessed with a perfect child." She thought, "I am going to do this again and again, because I am so very, very good at it."
The Mommy watched her happy little girl play with her dolls, being a sweet littleMommy to them, singing to them, kissing their plastic faces. The Mommy said, "Yes, indeed. We should do this again."
So the Mommy, in the family way once again, spent her days watching her little girl play, vomiting in the toilet, and playing at the swimming pool. The sweet child patted her Mommy's back and sat gently on her lap for many, many stories every day.
Then one day, the Mommy watched this sweet, happy child playing littleMommy games with her baby dolls. And heard these words: "Smarten up, baby." (Have we mentioned that this sweet little girl was almost, but not quite two years old?)
The Mommy feared that she had ruined something precious. All was, perhaps, lost. The good, wonderful Mommy could no longer assume that because her child mimicked her sweet-Mommy words, she was only a sweet Mommy. Because now that the good girl also copied her impatient-Mommy words, that would have to mean (gasp) that she was an impatient Mommy. A burned-out Mommy. A real, live, human Mommy... just like everyone else.
Turns out that the timing on this was inspired, because it was Very Important for this Mommy to learn that lesson. Because the next child was healthy (mostly) she was beautiful (in a bald way) but she was not happy. Not ever. Not for a year and a half. That's eighteen months. Seventy-eight weeks. Five hundred and forty -six days. And nights. And the Mommy carried on. She learned that sometimes God just gives us gifts. And sometimes He sends us challenges. And sometimes, when we're ready for it, He lets us see that our challenges are also great gifts.
Epilogue: Once upon a slightly later time there was a nearly middle aged Mommy who had four sweet, beautiful, well-behaved children. Not one of them was perfect. Not one was constantly happy. But they were all loved, all wanted, all appreciated, and they all loved their sometimes burned-out, tired, cranky, sometimes fun, silly, happy, always human, always learning Mommy.