The past two months would not be possible without my mother.
As I crawled and wriggled my way through breastfeeding and babywearing Hana in a ring sling while attending to Sethia's various needs and interests at the same time, my mother stood firm and walked patiently with me, on top of handling all other domestic duties and chores meticulously.
My mother's presence exemplified soundly what Adi wrote some time ago, that parenting is not about giving our children the best of things, nor it is about how capable we are, but it is about giving our children our own selves, in the circumstances that God providentially puts us in.
Her presence made me reflect that mothering young children is not simply about ...
Breastfeeding exclusively: My mother never breastfed exclusively, but she respected my grandmother's wishes that a newborn had to be fed based on a one-hourly schedule, and thus had to be supplemented;
Nor it is about wearing your baby with expertise: Too awkward to use 'selendang' [Indonesian traditional baby carrier], she rocked and sang to sleep one-year-old me - probably weighing 10-12 kg then - up and down the staircase, with only her bare hands;
Nor it is about joyfully co-sleeping with our little ones: She lived - not always pleased but certainly with a lot of consideration and thoughtfulness - with three of her in-laws, for almost 25 years of her marriage. In a packed hotel room, she would give the bed up for four of her children and chose the floor instead.
The above, and some other parenting tenets, are beautiful and right in themselves; they will be helpful guides to my parenting, but without grace, mercy, and sacrificial love, they will count as nothing.
Yesterday, before Mama left for the airport, we read 2 Tim. 1: 1-7 in our morning family worship:
"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
What a delightful comfort to have such a fitting reading. My mother had been unceasingly praying for us day and night, that "the LORD Jesus be present in this home." She read this passage with tears in her eyes, expressing her own desire to see Sethia and Hana again. We thank GOD for her faith, and we thank HIM who promises and covenants that He Himself will keep the very faith from generation to generation.
Terima kasih sedalam-dalamnya, Ma. Engkau yang penuh rahmat.
[Thank you from our heart, Ma. You are full of grace].
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing - 1 Cor. 13:1-3
"The day we were reunited, baby to breast, I cried. I held her close,
tucking those stray wisps of fuzzy brown hair behind her ears and
murmuring my affection in that secret language of mothers and babies
everywhere. All the tubes and wires inthe world could not keep me from
Life post-surgery was challenging and changed for us.
Emily was fragile. She nursed every two hours around the clock. Yet, my
patience held. I still look back at those weeks with fondness and an
awe that I never once felt tied down or irritated by the nearly constant
breastfeeding sessions. ... "
Our little Hana's grown so fine. May God continue to grant her growth. :)
Who does not hope, to know and understand her strangest passion. Where she grips at all labours, and always the heaviest plight. When at once she grasps, all pleasures and the daintiest delight. Who has the sense, to belong and grow in her fittest portion.