Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Better even than a “Reading Mother” is a “Praying Mother”

I've always loved the poem, “The Reading Mother”. Although I don’t have any little boys, I’ve shared it with several mothers who do. As a booklady, obviously, I think reading is very important. But there are a few things more important than reading to our children and one of them is praying for and with our children.

Today my oldest daughter got her driver’s license. From my perspective, getting a license is a rite of passage; a momentous occasion. It means changes, such as: my daughter no longer needs me to get her places. I also won’t be there to ensure her safety.

But really, how often have I had to let her go already in her short sixteen year life? Plenty of times. From her birth, her life has been a constant process of letting go and moving on. It’s natural and right. I know it in my mind and heart. I’ve watched her crawl away, walk away, run away, ride her bike away and now drive away. Motherhood is constant surrender. We surrender our children back to Him and trust to His loving care.

While she was out on her first solo drive—after I said my rosary—I reread “The Reading Mother” and then I wrote this little poem which I call, “The Praying Mother”. It’s not as good as the original by Gillilan but it comes full from the heart and I dedicate with all my love to Meggie and to my own dear mother.

Here’s . . .

“THE READING MOTHER” by Strickland Gillilan

I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
"Blackbirds" stowed in the hold beneath

I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.

I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Celert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.

I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings-
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each mother of boys were such.

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be --
I had a Mother who read to me.

And here’s . . .

“THE PRAYING MOTHER” by booklady

You have a mother who’s prayed for you
Since long before she laid eyes on you;
Prayed for your health and happiness too;
Prayed she’d know what a mother’s to do.

You had a mother who prayed for your birth
And welcomed the gift of your life on this earth.
Swaddled in blankets so helpless and dear,
She resolved to pray, rather than fear.

You had a mother who prayed most days;
Struggling to learn to ‘pray always’.
Prayers for your safety, your sanctity too,
But mostly just praying God’s Will for you.

You had a mother who prayed as you grew,
Loving you more than she thought she could do.
Watching you blossom from year to year,
Slowly her prayers for you have grown clear.

You have a mother who is praying still;
Stubborn, selfish, and with a strong will,
Yet this mother’s heart and mother’s touch
The years of prayer have softened so much.

Dearest one, ahead may be joys or sorrow
Despite the prayers, we cannot know tomorrow.
Praying is the richest gift though it be free
I, too, have a mother who prays for me.

All my love and prayers, your bookmom

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