My mother is the most beautiful person in the world.
Is there a person on this planet who does not think that their mother is beautiful? No matter what their personalities, flaws or quirks…our mothers, they are the most beautiful people in the entire world to us.
It seems as though we knew this before we were even capable of speaking. I know that we all did, because I gaze into the eyes of my newborn baby and I see it in his eyes: love. So much love, for such a tiny, unintelligent little human. A human incapable of speaking or articulating their emotions… yet, innately aware of love in the form of sacrifice.
I want to argue that babies recognize our sacrifices as mothers for them. Truly.
For what is love but the willing of another’s good? That willing is, sacrifice. So if love is sacrifice, love is also realizing sacrifice, love is made manifest in sacrifice.
Therefore, if our babies love us, they must innately recognize sacrifice.
I know this to be true because of the fistfuls of dandelions I get presented with by a dirty, squishy toddler after I’ve just lost my patience with them not minutes prior.
From all the hugs and kisses that never cease to come even on my grouchiest of afternoons.
From all the ‘look Mom!” I get beckoned with, even though I grumbled to them about how messy they are…
I am no philosopher or theologian. I mostly stand for long periods of time at my kitchen sink washing dishes and thinking about things like this.
I usually think about them on the days I am most disgusted with all my mistakes and shortcomings, and while I’m sitting (standing) there wallowing in guilt…one of these five little people God has charged me with typically runs in bearing scribbles on paper they made just for my wall. Or hands me a clay creation or paintings, or makes an announcement that they made their bed and ‘wait till you see! You’ll love it!”
Each one of them subconsciously, is aware of the sacrifice I make for them…the sacrifice that speaks mountains of love to them, whether or not they can expressly pluck it out of their awareness and put their finger on it, don’t doubt the intelligence of these creatures: they know. I know they know because of how much they love back.
Which leads me to finally in my adult consciousness expressly be able to pluck out my own awareness that this is how each of us were as children. Acutely, albeit unaware perhaps, in tune with how much our mothers sacrificed for us, and how much they love us… which in turn makes them most beautiful to us.
Does not sacrifice make someone all the more beautiful?
I see it in my six month old’s eyes. He isn’t just happy to see me, I see love, I feel beautiful and I know it is only because of the purity of his soul. Despite all of my personality flaws and shortcomings all this baby sees and knows is my sacrifice…my love… for him. And I suppose in his eyes, I can be nothing but beautiful.
And so it is with our own mothers when we were children! Is that not a wonderful thought? When I stop and truly let that sink in I have to catch my breath sometimes.
In a way, how very sad it is to be an adult! To loose that innocence. To become older and grow weary in our visions, allowing emotions and fleeting human flaws cloud our awareness of the depth of our mother’s sacrifice. To dull our image of true beauty with the law of the world. The law that says judge, hold grudges, loose patience and focus on the passing… not the lasting.
It seems only through parenting our own children that the foggy glasses are lifted off of our eyes and the purity of vision once again restored. We can see the depth of love, through sacrifice that our own mothers have for us!
Oh and to think that this all is only a tiny fraction of the love that Our Blessed Mother in heaven has for all of us.
There may be those who say their mother’s did not love them, did not sacrifice for them… but if they are beautiful (and who, who among us can say otherwise?) If they are beautiful, it is only because of their love for you. Because of their sacrifice for you! At at least ONE moment in time, they made a significant sacrifice for you! (You are here, are you not?) And that one time, is probably the single greatest sacrifice they ever could have made for you!
Sacrifice and love makes the soul radiant with beauty beyond compare.
Saint Augustine says “ Love is the beauty of the soul”
No one’s beauty ever has, or ever will, surpass the beauty of my mother.
I can clearly remember being young and wanting only to look like her. How was it possible for someone to be grounding me, yet never falling from being beautiful? Nobody else’s mom was as beautiful as mine. And even on the most difficult angsty teen days, I never once stopped thinking she was beautiful.
Though she be fierce and at her wits end with me, she always remained: beautiful.
Though she be exhausted and trying to listen with all her might to my ramblings, still: beautiful
Though she have migraines and illness, fever blisters and injury: so, so, beautiful.
The farther I delve into my own journey of motherhood, the more beautiful my mother becomes.
Every middle of the night bedwetting incident, followed by another child’s nightmare needing soothed, followed by a baby up to nurse… the more tired, the more stretched to my limits I feel, the more beautiful my own mother becomes.
I so badly want to slow down and see this cycle for what it is truly being conveyed to us from heaven: this is true love. This cycle happens for a reason.
We begin with purity, with seeing others only for their love and sacrifice and finding beauty only in that love and sacrifice. Along the way we get a little clouded in our vision but then we have children of our own and come back full circle to see the beauty of the human soul. Especially our mothers. Perhaps this is what Saint Therese means when she teaches her “Little Way” and encourages us to be childlike. Maybe it just means always remaining aware of the sacrifice and love. No matter what’s been said or happened in the past, at the end of the day that sacrifice and that love is still there and will always be there (if I must…at the very least, our mothers did give birth to us!) That sacrifice is where true beauty lies.
The happiest of Mother’s Day to my most beautiful and always beautiful mother, and all the beautiful mothers out there!