As a mom, and a very nostalgic one at that, I have found that it doesn’t take much for me to be swept away in memories.
I have an exceptional memory. I don’t mean that at all to boast, because there have been many times that I have wished that I didn’t. But my ability to remember things from years ago astounds me sometimes, as well as those I know. It has proved useful, of course, and has gotten me into trouble on occasion. But mostly, it has served as a blessing as I recall the memories that I have with my sons.
Just the other day, as I was bemoaning the fact that I didn’t have month-by-month pictures or baby books for my children and simply just grieving that I am not a more organized mother, the Lord brought to my mind something that eased my heart. He reminded me that while I may not have all the recorded memories that I wish I had, instead I have something that means much more for me personally. Something that I didn’t even realize I had. I have songs.
Yes, songs. A song for each of my sons.
Like I said, I didn’t even realize that I had these. But I would like to share them with you, and the stories of each one.
I didn’t become a Christian until my oldest son was two months old. As you may have read in my previous blogs, I was a teen mom, having had my son at the age of nineteen. In the months that followed me turning my life over to Christ, I struggled with navigating parenthood and personhood as a believer. God, of course, was perfectly faithful and walked alongside me through it all, and He reminded me often that He was with me.
One song that became popular in the year after my son was born was “Lord, I Need You” by Matt Maher. I instantly fell in love with this song as the lyrics spoke deeply to my heart in the season I was in. I can remember my son, as an infant, laying in my bed with me at night while I sang the words of this song to him, most often with tears pouring down my face. Each time I hear this song now, I remember those times of singing this song to him and how precious his little face was, soft with sleep, and how restorative it was to my momma heart when I felt like I was failing. Now, five years later, I see how that was my song with him!
My middle son was a gassy baby, sensitive to whatever I ate and often crying in pain and discomfort in his early months. Around this same time, I began to fall in love with the music of JJ Heller. One night, as I rocked him in his room, her song “Scarlet Thread” came on and I felt him instantly calm in my arms and fall asleep shortly after. For many nights, when he would cry in his uncomfortable state, I would play that song and sing to him, most often soothing him out of his sad cries.
In the months that followed, even when he passed the fussy stage and grew into a toddler, this song would warm my heart as I remembered the days of rocking his tiny self to sleep against my body in a blue rocking chair.
And then recently, the Lord provided beautifully for me in a moment of need, and so formed the song that belongs to my youngest son and I. Recently, over Christmas, all of my children came down with what we assumed was just a really bad cold. My oldest had it first, starting with a cough, and then proceeding into all the lovely head cold symptoms as well. He and my two-year-old handled it fine aside from coughing at night, but my youngest, who was four-months-old at the time, did not fare as well. We had been visiting my mom in BC for Christmas, and I felt like I was watching my sweet baby get worse by the hour.
As he coughed and hacked, I panicked, knowing that our best option was to return to the US, but it was late at night and the ferries were done for the day. My mom suggested getting the bathroom steamy and allowing him to sit in there with me, hoping that the steam would break up some of the congestion. And as we stood in there, I felt compelled to sing to him. The song that the Lord first brought to my mind was the hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”.
The funny thing about this song is that I have always loved it, but no matter how hard I tried, I could never remember the words for it. I would get a verse or so in and start to forget the lyrics. But this night, as I sang to my sweet, sick boy, the words poured off my tongue. And while my little one was still very ill for many days, my heart was deeply comforted. I know that God provided those words for me in that moment, and I have sang that song over and over again to my little guy since that day.
My point in telling you these stories is this: we as moms are so hard on ourselves for not doing the things that we think we should. I often berate myself for all of the expectations that I have of myself that I can’t seem to meet. But I believe that if we stop and rest in the Lord, He will show us the places He has been faithful to provide, and to uplift us in the things that we are doing right. I may not have it all together in terms of records, memory boxes, or baby books, but God has provided something so special for me that I will be able to remember forever with my boys. I will be able to tell my sons as they grow that these songs, while of course written for all, felt like they were written just for us. And on the days when I need to remember the sweetness of those early years, I will be able to play these songs, close my eyes, and just soak in the memories.
Don’t sell yourselves short, mommas. We may not all do the same special things, but I promise, there is something special for you and your littles. Whatever it is, it’s yours, and it’s a blessing beyond measure.
Tell us, what is your special thing between you and your kiddos?