Monday, January 13, 2014

A Mother's Love

Last Friday, hubby and I got a blessed day together and went skiing since the snow gods had been dumping generous amounts of the white stuff on Mt. Hood. After a couple of hours of hitting the slopes, this mama got hungry so we stopped in the lodge for a couple drinks and a mountain of award-worthy nachos. I completely enjoyed our conversation and watching the snow clouds roll over the mountain.

Before we headed back out, I had to stop and fix my boots in the main lodge area. I noticed a mother sitting with her very young girl at the end of the long bench I'd plopped my butt on. My first thought was, "Aw, isn't that sweet. Mother and daughter hanging out at the mountain. I hope this will be me and my girl in a few years."

As I adjusted the straps and buckles on my boots, I heard a grunt. I glanced over to them again and looked away quickly because I didn't want the mom to think I was staring. This time I noticed the girl had a disability of some sort, most likely Down's Syndrome.

My heart melted. Normally when I see disabled children with their families, I feel love, but the pity kind. You know, the type where you admire the courage and bravery of the parents, sadness for what they have to endure, and hopefulness that they have all the support they need.

This time, however, when my heart melted I saw myself and my girl sitting there at the end of the bench helping her take bites of a sandwich and sips from her juice box. Tears welled into my eyes, but not of sadness. No, they were tears of love. I stole more glances under the pretense of fixing my boots.

The way the mother smiled down at her daughter and the way she cradled the girl on her lap, I knew that the mother viewed her child as a perfect whole person and for the first time in my life, I did too. What ever disability she had disappeared. That's what a mother's love does. It's unconditional and unmeasurable. It looks past the flaws.

I understood her. That little girl in that moment, was the most beautiful child I'd laid my eyes upon. All I wanted to do was walk over there, scoop her up in my arms, and shower her with kisses. My heart overflowed with love.

Of course, I restrained myself. But I wish I'd walked over there and at least told her that she had the most gorgeous girl. Two years ago, if I'd seen them there my reaction may have been totally different. That's when I realize how much becoming a mom had changed me and I really understood the vastness of a mother's love.

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