Life's Tool Box – A Guide for Parents and Educators

May 11, 2012

Beyond All Expectations –Happy Mother’s Day 2012!

Filed under: Tools for Life Posts — by Life's Toolbox @ 12:30 pm
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They have made a movie of the classic book, What to Expect When You’re Expecting.  We all know the genteel phrase for pregnancy – expecting.  You may consider “expecting” when you are pregnant.  Once blessed with children, however, expecting is useless.

From the day I became a mother, and even now, as the parent of married and almost grown children, I am constantly surprised.  I never expected to feel joy bubble up through my very being at my son’s toddler giggles – a feeling so filled with in- the- moment happiness that from toes to forehead, I couldn’t stop smiling.  I never expected the sleepless nights and crushing sense of sadness when another son’s romance left him hurting.  I never expected the horrible feeling of being unable to make it better, and knowing that my hugs and consolation were a band-aid on a gaping wound, that only time could heal.  I never expected the pride that swells mind and chest at the first steps taken, the first ride without training wheels, the school play solos, the A+ papers, the graduations, the awards, and sometimes just at the sight of the child you bore, turning before your eyes into the man he will become.

I never expected the fun of sharing my pleasures for word and card games with increasingly competent opponents in on-going friendly competitions around the dining room table.  I never expected the worry that grays my hair, settles in my stomach and populates my nights, when they have a fever or a frustration, when they are distant and when they are near, when they are angry, hurt or struggling.  They grow older, but the worry always takes me back to the night I sat beside a son’s crib, wiping his burning brow with a cool cloth, unable to do more than that simple comforting and needing just to wait, and wait for the illness to pass.

I never expected the wonder, the feeling of being blessed, day in and day out, to have partnered in creation, and to see, day in and day out, the miracle that is man.  That miracle was lived in seeing development unfold in its normal but wondrous ways, in seeing relationships in and beyond our family grow, in watching children become adults and find love and their hearts’ mates.  And blessed with three deliciously different children, I have seen the development of an athlete’s grace, the cleverness of a mathematician’s mind, the playfulness of a comic’s humor, the skill of a writer’s pen, the kindness of a caring soul and so much more.  But always I have watched with awe and gratitude the unfolding of extraordinary human beings, who I have been privileged to know and love.

I never expected to be living the corny saying that every day is mother’s day.  There has been no time off, vacation or retirement . . . and I am surprisingly thankful for that.  I know my mind, heart and soul have grown in magical ways by being a mother.  I was blessed with a wonderful mother, and with plenty of life and book knowledge about parenting.  I thought I knew much about what to expect from mothering.  What I did not know, what shocks and delights me still, is how mothering my children has been, and I hope will always be, beyond all expectations.

Wishing all mothers a day . . . and many more, that are beyond all expectations.



  1. You’re not supposed to be giving us presents on Mother’s Day! What a beautiful post!

    Comment by Eitan Novick — May 11, 2012 @ 6:36 pm |Reply

    • Thanks. I just had to put in words how blessed I feel. You are a great audience and inspiration!

      Comment by Life's Toolbox — May 11, 2012 @ 6:54 pm |Reply

  2. A reader of the blog pointed out to me that mothers and parents struggling with significant challenges (childrens’s disabilities and illnesses) or losses (children who have become disconnected from their families) may have found my discussion of the powerful pain and frustration I experienced in my rather normative parenting challenges as insensitive. That was certainly not my intent. I was sharing my surprise at the unexpected response I experienced to some challenges I have encountered. I recognize that what may seem a huge challenge to one parent, can appear to pale in comparison to the severe pain another faces daily. And what can bring one parent to their knees with sadness, another may manage with grace and minimal suffering. No parent can judge another’s pain, or totally understand the experience of another. All we can do is be there for each other, and honor the uniqueness of our experiences. If my words failed to respect the pain other mothers feel, my apologies.

    Comment by Life's Toolbox — May 17, 2012 @ 2:02 am |Reply

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