Photo by Brian Giandelone
I have never appreciated my mother more than I have watching her become a grandmother.
Part of that comes from watching her pour out love on my son -- just beaming at the little boy, even when he is wailing or his diaper is full.
But another part is knowing what motherhood really means.
I now know what she went through to bring me into this world, not just in the delivery room. In the three months since Gabriel was born, I've lived through the late nights and financial crunch, the dirty diapers and doctor's visits, the joy and pain of breastfeeding.
I've been lucky so far. Other than the scary first fews days after Gabriel's birth when he had to stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (he was a month early), my child has been healthy and happy.
There have been a few emotional lows, mostly in the middle of the night, but they are all wiped away by big "Good Morning" smiles.
I know my motherhood journey has just begun. It's scary to think of the terrible 2's and the teenage years, but I don't feel ill-prepared, thanks to the women who have come before me.
My mom taught me strength, sacrifice and compromise, and gave me the gifts of patience and humility, although I definitely need to work on them both.
It's a family tradition, since her mother, my beloved Memaw, instilled the same values and qualities in her.
This weekend, Gabriel will get to meet Memaw, the gentle Mississippi lady who is the best example of kindness, love, faith and grace that I know and who I hope to one day become.
But mostly on this, my first Mother's Day, I'm thinking about the message my pastor delivered one Sunday before Gabriel was even a glimmer in his father's eye.
He told us that children are a gift from God. They aren't ours to keep but are on loan. God has given us -- all of us mothers -- the wonderful and awesome responsibility to raise our children to know and to love God, so that they can return to Him one day.
It's something I have thought about since I felt Gabriel kick in my belly. What a miracle! What a joy! What a responsibility!
Thank God I have great examples to follow.
Camie Young can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.