One day I’m going to write a book, my adult son Casey tells me. It’s going to be titled “Things My Mother Never Taught Me.“
That’s not comforting news to a mother like me who homeschooled her children from kindergarten through high school and prone to fear that she didn’t teach her children well, but Casey has a bent for teasing so I don’t get too worried yet.
At the top of the list, he informs me, is what a newborn baby’s first poop looks like. I laugh out loud, a bit relieved, as he continues. I thought Mason was dying. You should have told me.
There’s some things in life you simply have to experience for yourself, I tell Casey with a grin.
Truth is, I know exactly what Casey means. I’ve often thought my own mother didn’t prepare me for many of life’s experiences, from mothering to grandmothering and the complex issues we wrestle with near retirement.
But as I think about it, maybe my mother taught me more by what she didn’t say than what she did. She didn’t live a life of ease – either physically or emotionally. Life was hard, painful and more grievous than she could ever have imagined it would be, yet I never heard her complain. She approached each challenge and difficulty with grace, humor and a confidence that grew as her relationship with Christ matured. I pray that is what my family sees in me.
I can’t prepare my children for everything in life, but like my mother, I can model mature and godly responses to my own circumstances.
Love covers a multitude of sins, scripture reminds me. (I Peter 4.8) I can ask my family to forgive me when I fail them, and I can quickly forgive them and extend grace when they disappoint me.
Most importantly, I can lead them to Christ and to the wisdom God longs to give each of us when we ask (James 1.5), and I can pray for them always, trusting the Holy Spirit to guide them where ever the Lord leads, just as He does for me.