A Mother’s Memories – on Wheels

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. – Psalm 127:3

This Mother’s Day weekend – when we also celebrate 28 years of marriage – is a bit of a bittersweet one. The mom in me feels as if we’re giving away more than 14 years of memories. It’s time to trade in our minivan.

This is the very vehicle I, an avowed (red) sports car aficionado, swore I would never drive. But I did. For 13 years of its life with our family – until I returned to the land of the red sports car and surrendered the (also red) Mom Mobile to my husband.

And in those 13 years, it has carried our kids, the youngest two of whom were just 11 and 8 when we bought it. It has transported countless playmates, home improvement supplies, dogs, rabbits, friends and relatives, guitars, amps, drums, marimbas, luggage, and endless bags of groceries.

It has taken us on vacations, on countless shopping trips, to work, to play, to weddings, to funerals, to graduations, to births, to deathbeds. It has heard secrets, confessions, outbursts of anger, screams of joy, and heartfelt cries.

In it our kids saw snow for the first time. In it I learned that some crazies who believe they’re Satan will deliberately ram into you after they’ve assaulted two other people. In it our kids learned how to drive.

In it my kids have grown up.

Even though we’re trading it toward a crossover that actually carries one more person than the van, I feel as if I’m shutting a door on so many years of motherhood.

Gone are the days of rushing my kids in divergent directions to various activities, driving them to work, taking them to the playground, picking up friends for a sleepover, and accompanying them to appointments. Gone are the days of loose teeth and endless streams of worn-out or outgrown clothing. Gone are the days of kissing boo-boos, wiping runny noses and drying tears.

Do they remember? I wonder. Do they remember all the talks, all the lap time, all the “I love yous,” all the hugs, all the games, all the songs, all the joy? Could they begin to feel the love that welled up so overwhelmingly within me I was sure my heart would burst? Do they understand what miracles they are in my eyes, even when they haven’t felt so miraculous?

I do. I don’t remember all the moments. How I wish I did – that somewhere within that minivan were a recorder that chronicled those fleeting and precious moments. But I remember the love. That is one thing I cannot, will not, trade.

Children grow up; mothers grow older. I knew it would happen, but I just never expected it to happen so soon. Whoever would have guessed that I, of all people, would give anything to relive my days of being a minivan-driving mama? My red sports car is little consolation in comparison.

But here I am, 14 years later. It’s time to say goodbye to the van; it’s time to say goodbye to a longtime way of life. But I will hold fast to my memories as I praise God for the children He has helped me to raise to physical and spiritual maturity.

Happy Mother’s Day, my friends. You are precious in the sight of God. May your children rise up and called you blessed. And to my children, know you are deeply and fiercely loved. I am honored to be your mother.

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