It's not until we become mothers ourselves that we understand the tears a mother cries for her children.
Noah, my firstborn. As he was placed in my arms and I felt, for the first time, the joy only a mother can feel. He is the only one who got those very first mother's tears. They carried with them a bond only he and I can share. I cried tears of fear when, as a toddler, his finger was amputated in an accident, and tears of anguish as I handed him over to the surgeon to have it re-attached. When he was two I cried tears of delight when I found him dragging wet worms around on the driveway, and when I asked what he was doing he told me, "I'm painting!". When he was 12 I cried tears of "Why him?" when we were told he'd need to give himself shots every day, and tears of frustration when at 14 he suddenly refused to do them anymore. I cried tears of sorrow for the teenager who ran away from home several times, and tears of gratitude when he returned safely. There were the tears of pride when I saw my handsome boy dressed for prom, and more at graduation. He'll be 21 soon. My tears for Noah will continue as I watch him struggle his way through adulthood, as I'm sure my mother still cries for me.
Tyler, the middle child. I spent 3 months crying when Tyler was born. He came into this world confused and angry, as if he was upset about having been ripped out of the nice warm cocoon he'd had all to himself. My tears for Tyler were usually in frustration, not knowing how to help him, how to make him feel comfortable in this world that required touch. Tears of sorrow for the boy who struggled to be understood and would repeat himself over and over again until we finally were able to put together what he was trying to say. There were sad, helpless tears as I held him down for repeated blood draws to figure out why his blood cells were different from everyone else's, and tears of apology when I was able to comfort him afterwards. There were lots of tears of joy for Tyler too! Like when he was finally able to say his own name, and when he walked on his feet instead of his knees. Tears of pride at his ability to understand words far bigger than him, like "bioluminescence". There were the tears of fear when mental illness reared it's ugly head and we learned more than we ever cared to about the world of psychiatric care. Really though, those tears of fear and frustration that flowed from me for Tyler were prayerful tears, asking God to show me how to help my son. Now at 19 I see a wonderful young man with a heart of gold. Caring and thoughtful, he holds a place in my heart that no other can ever have. I know I have years of tears for Tyler ahead of me, but for now, when I cry for Tyler, I cry tears of pride as I watch this amazing young man.
When Angela was a baby, I cried many tears for her. Tears of "Why me? Why HER?". Tears of sorrow as we were given bad news over and over again. Tears of fear as I handed over over to the surgeon time and time again. At 8 years old, when I cried at her first her track meet, she asked me, "Why crying mom?" How do you explain to a child you're crying because as she runs across the finish line, you remembered a doctors voice telling you she'd never live past a year old. "Why are you crying mom?" after her recent theater performance. Those tears of pride for my baby, for all the hard work she put in, this child who would likely never talk. "Why are you crying mom?" as she leaps fearlessly into the deep end of the pool and comes to the surface with a huge grin on her face. "Did you see me mom? Did you see?". Tears of thanks to God for allowing me to see this beautiful, wonderful child of mine.
A mother's tears. Joy, sorrow, fear, gratitude, love, happiness. All the things mothers cry about. I'm so thankful to Him for allowing to shed mother's tears.