(This story states two reasons why I’m glad to be a mom. The first you’ll find rather obviously written below. The second is the fact that having a child has given me a deeper understanding about what it means to be a child of God. This piece is written for my sweet friend Elisa at Extravagant Grace as part of her “Why I’m Glad to Be a Mom—Mother’s Day Contest.”)
“Ma-ma-mama-maaah! Bhooo! BHOOOO!”
I didn’t need to lift my eyes toward the floating Mylar ball resting near the produce section of the grocery store to know that it was the object enticing my one-year-old son. Pickle loves balloons. During his first birthday party, while tugging the string attached to a gigantic helium-filled frog, my little man added the word balloon…rather bhoo to his vocabulary. A passerby might think he was trying to scare me. But as his mommy, there was no mistaking his intent. “Bhoo” was easily translated to balloon.
I know my boy, and more often than not, I know the messages he attempts to communicate. I know the difference between his “I’m scared” scream, and his “I cannot wait another millisecond for the next bite of yogurt” scream. He says bah when he wants to take a bath, when he wants to play ball, and when he sees a sheep, and with my eyes closed I could pin-point the difference each time. It’s not rocket science. It’s mommy-knows-her-baby science. When other little ones who don’t share my last name express their thoughts to me, I often find myself looking up at their mommies and mouthing “what?” But when it comes to my kids, even my baby Pickle, it doesn’t take long before I crack the toddler code and decipher their language.
My son knows my voice too. I’m convinced that all babies are born with super powers. Deep within each infant lies “Mommy Radar.” Whenever his mommy is within fifteen feet, Pickle’s super hearing is triggered and “Mommy Radar” kicks in. I’m not kidding. I can be standing outside the closed door of the church nursery whispering to a friend and hear my little guy wail “Mamamamamaaaaaaaaaah.”
I love that aspect of motherhood. That special communicative bond between parent and child. Priceless. It’s a bond not limited to children and their earthly parents. This I know because there is another voice I recognize; a silent voice stirring my spirit and awakening mind. It’s softer than a whisper yet can cause mountains to tremble. The same voice that spoke the solar-system into existence, speaks to my conscious. He never talked to me through a burning bush or with a thunderous boom, yet when He speaks, I don’t doubt His voice. As a baby kitten recognizes her mother, I recognize when my Father composes a special message just for me.
He also recognizes my voice. When my heart throbs, and the only sounds that escape my mouth are whimpers and groans, my Father deciphers each thought, every plea. When elation overthrows all semblance of decorum and a mighty uproarious Woooo-hooo leaps out of my chest, God hears an entire sonnet. Others may think me a silly fool or a weak and sorry excuse of a human being. But not my Father. He makes sense from my confused ramblings. He hears poetry when others hear gibberish. Because He knows me like no other could ever know me. My creator knows my voice.
“I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” John 10:1-5 (NIV)