Tuesday, August 10, 2010

AS [we love] HER

i just came across this picture...this treasure. it's like i'm just now seeing it for the very first time, though, which seems strange - only because it was i who took it. perhaps, if i had noticed it before, it wouldn't have had such a profound affect on me. maybe i needed to discover it now. now. because i've been feeling like i might be at my wit's end. now. because i'm afraid i've been losing focus. now. because i've been impatient, and abrupt, and quick-tempered with my little asher... which has caused me to start questioning my abilities and my role as his mother. i was surprised at how easily the whole mothering thing came to me the moment ruby was placed in my arms. it was as if i had been born for that very purpose...i had literally waited my whole life for the chance to be a mother; and when the opportunity came, it was like i just knew what to do. it didn't take me long to identify her different cries and to know what each one meant. most of the time if she was upset, it was because she just needed to be snuggled and held close...a gentle kiss on her soft cheek was sure to take away any hurt or discomfort she may have been experiencing. ruby started communicating early on. if she couldn't speak it, she'd simply sign it. it was never much of a challenge to figure out her wants and needs. ruby has always been easy to please...and even easier to love.
and then there's my asher. from almost the moment he was placed in my arms, he's been a challenge. he developed a double ear infection when he was just two weeks old and was hospitalized for 4 days. his first year of life he was plagued with the pains and discomforts that accompany acid reflux; and as a result, was alarmingly underweight and malnourished. even though he's pretty much out grown the reflux, he still vomits when he gets worked up or over-eats (which he tends to do quite often). he also struggles with asthma, and at the onset of just a minor cold, an albuterol treatment is required to keep the runny nose from escalating into a full blown respiratory infection. and if all of that doesn't sound terrible enough, the poor kid has got some major digestive/bowel issues. i will refrain from going into detail on this one, as i would hate to damage his little psyche...but can i just say BAD? on top of all the health problems, my little ash man is a ball of energy...and that's putting it lightly. just watching him in action will wear anyone out. he's constantly moving, and going, and running, and jumping, and getting into things. i seriously cannot keep up with him even half of the time. it's not just that he's entering the "terrible twos". and he's more than just "all boy". i would go so far as to say that he operates on an entirely different plane - a plane inhabited by the tasmanian devil...and maybe animal from the muppets.

maybe Heavenly Father decided that i needed some humbling in mothering, and so he sent me asher. i don't know, but i must admit, since he came into my life, i have learned a few lessons in humility...as well as patience, and unconditional love. but i'm nowhere near where i need to be. because like i mentioned earlier, i feel like i might possibly be at my wit's end. i'm treading water. at times i'm barely breathing. and sometimes it's all i can do to keep from losing my mind...
and then the Lord, like he always does, extends a small tender mercy - a lone photograph, among thousands, that has the power to soften my heart, give me perspective, and increase the love i feel for my precious baby boy. i love how asher is the focal point, the subject, of the photograph. he's the center, the life of the image. the sunlight rests on him, and only him. his older sister lies quietly in his shadow. his father, eyes closed, reverences him...expressing tenderness through a soft smile and a gentle touch. even asher, himself, seems to outwardly manifest a spirit of reverence, as he delicately and trustingly rests his head on his daddy's body. this image does something to me. it moves me. it speaks right to my heart...it tells me that right now, in this moment, asher - my asher, is the only thing that matters in the whole entire world.

john and i went to the temple today and did sealings. we were able to be proxies, or agents, authorized to act on behalf of the dead. we were instrumental in sealing several marriages together beyond the grave...for eternity. i was privileged to be the proxy for a number of daughters as they were sealed to their parents. by so doing, i was able to reflect upon the blessings and promises that were given to asher the day he was sealed to us. that day, he was endowed with all the blessings of being born in the new and everlasting covenant -or the gospel of Jesus Christ. that day, he became ours - our son...just like ruby is our daughter.

we have a plaque with our son's name on it. it was given to me by a very dear friend at my baby shower, and it hangs on the wall above the window in the kids' room. A-S-H-E-R, it reads, in big capitol letters. one evening, as we were congregating in the room for family prayer and scriptures, i noticed that john was staring at the plaque. have you ever noticed the way his name is spelled? he asked. as-her. wow i thought. pretty profound. something we definitely hadn't thought of as we contemplated calling him asher, but how very fitting. ruby was born to me...asher was born to another. but that doesn't matter, because we love him every bit as much AS HER. ruby was born in the covenant...asher was sealed to us later. but that doesn't matter, because we love him every bit as much AS HER. ruby was an easy baby, and an even easier toddler...nothing about asher is easy. but that doesn't matter, because we love him every bit as much AS HER.

i am so grateful for a morning at the temple, a name board hanging on the wall, and a simple photograph...all of which have reminded me how much i love my little asher, and what an honor and privilege it is to be his mother.

6 comments:

Colleen said...

You always have the sweetest posts. And it just makes me think from when I used to teach, the kids that required the most work, effort and patience I ended up loving the most.

Jill said...

Loved this post! I think we as mothers have the hardest job ever. Our patience is tested CONSTANTLY! I battle with my own health issues and so I tend to lose my patience WAY too quickly! There are days that I say to myself "I'm doing the lords work" over and over in my head just to make it through the day! Hang in there. your role is divine!

Amber and Dallas said...

time...there isnt nearly enough of it...wanting to read it all...beautiful post nicole...your little guy loves you so very much...i must say i have learned so much from jr these past 6 years...it is pretty amazing how our Father in Heaven places them so perfectly in our lives...it most definately is humbling =)

Layla said...

Beautifully written!

natalie eve said...

love this. gave me chills. he's a lucky boy.

buddens said...

Beautiful sentiment and photo, Nicole. My cousin had a similar experience with the name of her son, Ethan. He has a very serious congenital heart defect that has required him to have many surgeries in his short (I think he's 3?) life and he will eventually require a heart transplant. One day during a particularly difficult time in coping with the difficulties surrounding their journey, her husband noticed that the blocks above their fireplace that spell "Give Thanks" has "Ethan" spelled in the middle, bridging the two words. I love tender mercies like that.