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#MotherStories: Best Gift Ever

I wish I could find the picture, the one where I have this huge grin on my face, and there she is, a teeny red-faced baby crying at the top of her lungs while I rocked her in my baby doll crib.

The BEST…GIFT…EVER came to my house the Christmas before I turned 4. I was so so so happy for this real baby to play with, to mother. Of course, I wasn’t as thrilled when it was my job to hang the cloth diapers on the line (and then take them down and fold them) and all the other chores that came with being the big sister.

But I’ve got to say this… It’s hard to beat getting a baby sister for Christmas. She came into the world at a time when our family needed JOY, something to celebrate. Tragedy was a part of our family that year, and as the family storytelling goes, it was a truly trying time.

And then she was here, our Natalie Joy, fresh into the world on Christmas Day. Tiny. Sweet. A perfect baby for Big Sister to love and mother for years to come. In fact, as I look back I can see that being a big sister was the first step in recognizing a #mothercalling, something deep inside me that never left from that day on. The memory sticks with me to this day, the memory that picture brings of being with my baby.

Are some of us called to #motherhood more than others? I don’t know. I do know that this feeling from early on that I hoped to be a mother drove many decisions in my life, including trying my best to stay as healthy as possible, finding a career where I could be present with my hoped-for family, and holding out for the right fella who I knew would be the best Dad.

Now, in full disclosure, my sister Nat was hardly impressed with my #mothering of her. Especially as we got older and she realized I was (or I wanted to be) in charge of every decision of her little life. She pushed back against my bossiness. And I’ve wondered as I’ve reflected on how I saw her, strong in will and spirit, moving to her own beat, if knowing her partly for the kids I parent today, kids who know their own mind, are finding their own way ~ kids who I couldn’t parent #theoldfashionedway (if there is such a thing!).

I think we can all learn lessons from looking back to the experiences that shaped us. Being a big sister was one of those.

This story is part of a project I call #motherstories. Write your own and I’d love to share them on my instastory.

“Let the redeemed of the Lord #sayso” (Psalm 107:2)

““Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what He did for me” (Psalm 66:16)

(Post picture is of me and my big brother with Nat, circa 1975)

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