There are a lot of remarkable things to be amazed by in this world. There are natural wonders like Niagara Falls, modern modes of transport like giant aircraft that take flight and enormous ships that float; rocket ships that reach other planets; and special people like emergency and medical personnel who save lives; soldiers who serve their country, and royalty like Kate who can look perfectly gorgeous in heels a few hours after giving birth to a princess.
It is easy to be astounded by these unusual, unreal, and unique effects. We can be mesmerized by their allure, even fascinated – but we can’t really relate to them. What about the every day, common, and very real situations and people who surround us every day? That is where we can truly be amazed – if we just keep our eyes open and not take everything for granted.
The other day, as I pulled in to the parking lot at my work, I watched one of our tractor-trailer drivers back a truck up with exact precision to a loading dock door. The back of the truck was perfectly aligned, and he did it without any backing and filling. I was amazed. I’m challenged with just parking my car evenly between the white lines in a space.
After the brutal and ugly winter we just got through, I thought for sure some of my garden plants would not survive. And yet, not only did they make it, but they are thriving. One recent morning I was looking at my Bleeding Heart bush, which I swear if I had the time, I could pull up a lawn chair and actually watch it grow. Every day, another arm of those delicate, intricate pink heart-shaped blooms appears as if to say “everything’s all right now.” Amazing.
Without fail, each evening when I get home, my dog appears, acting like seeing me is the best thing that has ever happened to him. His whole body wags, he does circles, snorts at me and gives me that doggie smile. No matter what kind of day I had, his joy and exuberance over my sheer existence makes any yuckiness disappear. When I look at any dog or cat’s face, I’m amazed by their cuteness, character, and bright eyes.
Of course our day to day lives would not be the same without the remarkable humans we encounter. The skills, the personality, the talent, and the caring – are all pretty astonishing when we stop to actually appreciate them. This weekend, we pay homage to the kind of person who pretty much tops the amazing list: mothers.
It starts at the very beginning, when a woman gives up her body to create another human being. She nurtures this alien-like life form for nine months, going through such thrills as morning sickness, swollen feet, heartburn, back ache, and of course, a transformation that makes her look like she swallowed a basketball. All that to then experience the “joy” of childbirth. Yes, it is miraculous. It is also painful, excruciating, exhausting and sometimes even life-threatening. Yet mothers willingly go through this to bring a new life into the world – and many are willing to repeat the process over and over again. Astonishing.
That is only the beginning. For the rest of her life, that woman now will play an unbelievable number of roles, including teacher, nurturer, disciplinarian, nurse, playmate, confidante, banker, safety inspector, taxi driver, chef, listener, mentor, fashion consultant, coach, caretaker, hugger. And every second of every day, her child or children carry part of her heart with them. She would lay down her life for them and she will never stop worrying about them.
Sure, there are some mothers out there who are perhaps not quite so wonderful. Some struggle with taking on the responsibility, some even give it up. But the incredible side of that story is that their daughters may be lucky enough to have their own chance some day to turn into awesome mothers themselves.
I was blessed to have it both ways. I had an incredible mom, and I have had the chance to become a mom. I remember when I was pregnant with my son, and was feeling some trepidations about childbirth and the years ahead, all I had to do was remember mom, and all the other outstanding mothers I knew. They were able to not only survive the process, but seemed to love it. So I knew I could too. And guess what, I was right.
This weekend, tell a mother she is simply amazing. Even if that mother is you.