Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The ways we are perfect


Am I a proud mama?  You'd better believe it.

On Sunday, my oldest son graduated from Duke University.

In front of the majestic Duke Chapel
Will is an awesome guy.  He's smart.  He's hard-working.  He's fun.  He's funny.  He's good to his brothers.  He's loyal to his friends.   And now he's a graduate of one of the finest universities in the country.
My three sons
As I was thinking about my son's qualities and accomplishments this weekend, I realized something important.  He's perfect in exactly the same number of ways that I am perfect.

None.  Absolutely none.

He's not perfect at all, but he's wonderful.  He amazes me.  I think the world of him.  Of course,  I never expected him to be perfect.  I'd love him and be proud of him no matter what.  

But, oh, how I wanted to be the perfect mother.

Some days I was a good mother.  Some days I was a fair-to-middling mother.  To be honest, some days I was a pretty bad mother.  On no days was I ever a perfect mother.  I've beaten myself up about that.  I've cried and lamented and wished I could go back and change things.  Because, although I never expected my son to be a perfect child, I did expect myself to be a perfect mother--or darn close, anyway.  And, of course, I failed.


Yet this fine man is my son--the child I carried in my womb for nine months, the baby I birthed, the boy I nurtured.   He's not perfect, but he doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful.

And if that goes for kids, maybe--just maybe--it goes for moms, too.

What do you think?

25 comments:

Nici @ Posed Perfection said...

Wonderful post, Richella! Congratulations to your son and this great accomplishment. I love how you worded everything. It is amazing how we don't expect perfection from our children, but don't always give ourselves the same grace. Thank you for the reminder that we (our children and ourselves) don't have to be perfect to be wonderful. Blessings to you!
Nici

The Pennington Point said...

Amazing accomplishment. Now he's off to his own imperfect life. It's such a wonder to watch our kids go build their own beautiful lives despite our flaws. Love to you both! Lisa~

Diane said...

Congratulations on your son's great accomplishment and your love and nuturing every step of the way! Your pride rings out in every word. I so appreciate your understanding that perfection isn't the answer. I've always said "I don't know any perfect people" when someone around me is trying for perfection.

dee said...

Congratulations!

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

Sharing your joy :) Congratulations!

Deidre said...

I'm reading this after tucking in my 11 and 7 year old and fighting that dreaded 'mom guilt'. God had used your words to speak to me just where I am. Thank you!

Congratulations!!

Kathy Olson said...

Congratulations! You are a wonderful mom! We all have those moments, but just looking at your son's faces tells me that you have been a wonderful mom to them:)

Patti@OldThingsNew said...

Congratulations Richella! That is a wonderful accomplishment indeed. Blessings to you and your family, Patti

Betty@SouthernGrace said...

Congratulations! And thanks for the encouraging words. I need them today. I've been beating my self up this morning.

lindaem said...

Thank you for sharing these words about motherhood. They really bring grace and encouragement. Congratulations to your son and may the Lord continue to bless and direct his steps.

Linda said...

Congratulations on your son's graduation. I am sure you are very proud of his accomplishments! And I am also sure that you...as his mother, had much to do with his success in all of his endeavors. Yes, indeed none of us are perfect...but with the Lord's guidance and help we can all go far through the mercy and grace of our Lord.

Love, Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

New Every Morning said...

I smiled at my computer screen as I read this because I had just pressed the "publish" button on my own post about Momma-pride. It is the sum of all those moments you invested ... it's okay to be proud. Not prideful, but proud. ;)

SO happy for your family as you celebrate this special time! What a huge accomplishment!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!! I have also lamented many times because I didn't live up to the standard I set as a "perfect mom"....you know what, my son, who will be 45 this year says, "mom, you were great I'm not sure what you are remembering but that was not the home I grew up in!" Bless their hearts...short memories are not all bad! God gives you second chances....precious grandchildren!!!! --Marti

Cynthia said...

What a beautiful post and tribute to your son. Congrats, you must be so very proud, as you should be. I think parents always do their best at the time and that they know how at the time. They love their children with everything they have and can give and that is the only thing that anyone should expect. We don't have children except for the furry kind but that is what I think about parents anyway.

Cynthia

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh wow, congratulations to Him and you. What a fabulous accomplishment. You have every reason to be proud and I am sure you were pretty close to being a perfect mom to raise such an amazing young man. Blessing to all. Hugs, Marty

Maria Elena said...

Congratulations on your son's graduation!

Dawn said...

what a weekend for your family! congratulations to all of you! sending off my girl this week, i also refelected on the "perfect." and how it is impossible, and that i am thankful for that xoxo

Debbie @ MeandMyDIY said...

Richella, this post gave me goosebumps and brought me close to tears. How right and wise you are. Just as we love our children through all of their faults and shortcomings, so does our Father. It's hard to remember that sometimes, in our constant quest to be the perfect mother, wife, homemaker, etc. Thank you so much for sharing this. Oh, and congratulations to your son! (and you!!)

Debbie

The Nester said...

chills. I literally got chills.

Heather said...

This is SO true. We are all far from perfect and thus dependent on grace in so many ways... Congrats to your son - Go Blue Devils! (I went there for college & law school.) You have such a wonderful family.

Trish @TheOldPostRoad said...

Congratulations!!!!! Great school- we will be touring there, this summer with daughter no 2. Glad to know there are some kids there who aren't die-hard-liberals. I worry my conservative Christian child might be all alone!

Trish @TheOldPostRoad said...

Love that red hair, by the way! My son is a redhead.

keely said...

So beautiful and so true. Thank you!

Southern Gal said...

Congratulations to him and you! Our oldest son, and middle child, graduated from college this past weekend, too. Your sentiments here reflect my own. Never perfect, but so wonderful!

Kristi said...

Congratulations, Will! Congratulations, Richella, on crafting such honest and precious reminders about our children and ourselves. Gratitude and Blessings, Friend ~

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