What do we do when we don’t know if we want to scream or cry, run away or go to sleep, and the only thing we are sure of is that anywhere but here is preferred? All of our “heres” are different. We live in many parts of the world, most of us are married, some with paying jobs, some without, but if we are Catholic moms it is a given that we have children, and that makes us kindred spirits no matter where we live or what we do with our days. We are moms.

Much has been written about the creature that is mom. We remember how our own mothers’ actions and beliefs affected our lives. As we grow older we become our mom. We mimic her mannerisms and catch phrases without realizing what we are doing. We reprimand our children in the same ways we were scolded. We look sideways in the mirror and catch a glimpse of our mom 20, 30, 40 years ago. And we smile.

How did our moms do all that they did? What sent them running for the hills, literally or figuratively? What brought them back to reality on the bad days? We did. When we were kids, we did. We brought our moms back. And now that we are grown who can talk us down off the cliff or smile that smile that makes it all worthwhile when we have less than stellar days? Our own children. Most times the children have driven us to the cliff but as moms we seem to set that aside and feel only gratitude when our child shows us a special kindness. I think that up in baby heaven God deposits a spark in the soul of each unborn sweetie giving them the ability to reach right into Mom’s heart like no other. I know my children have that spark, and I hold the spark for my own mom.

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to stay mad at our children? Tempers may simmer or flare for ages where our spouse is concerned but our kids, not so. I think it goes back to the time when we and our children were one. One person inside another person. We know them inside and out. We watched them grow and all the while they were watching us grow. They know us like no one else does.

On several occasions while I was growing up I remember my mom suggesting that one more commandment be added to the established list: Honor thy children. I thought it sweet of her: in hindsight this was much more than sweet. My mom honored each of her six children. We were all special to her. She never ridiculed, never said, “I told you so.” She lent a listening ear, and helped us whenever she could. My mom always respected her children and treated them as precious gifts from God.

Do we?

Copyright 2011 Maureen Locher