What if Mary wasn’t a morning person? What if she woke up each morning in a somewhat crabby mood, just desperately searching for the coffee, so she could slam a cup of instant energy in order to manage the kid?
What if Jesus, unaware of Mary’s coffee needs, chased his mother around the house, grabbing her legs out of pure love, while happily calling her name to play.
Would Mary respond like me? Would Mary beg Jesus for just a few moments of quiet, so she could gulp down her beverage unbothered?
Would Mary allow the youthful energy to invade her calm and set a negative tone for the day, all while dismissing the love Jesus was trying to show the person who meant the most to him in this world?
Mary was perfect, as was Jesus, so I often feel it an unfair comparison for parenting experiences. Yet it is precisely the one we should use. Yes, Mary was perfect, and even though we cannot achieve true perfection in our human nature, we are called to orient ourselves toward her perfection.
That’s the only true way to achieve the sainthood for which we are called.
So, instead of rushing away from my child’s exuberant morning love, I try to remember and imitate Mary. Mary wouldn’t allow her subpar morning mood to fester into irritation. No, Mary would pray for God’s grace to help her respond with love. Mary would wait on that coffee and turn to Jesus first, wrapping him in her mantle of pure and genuine love. Mary would remember her mission as a mother— to lead with love and attain heaven.
Our motherhood journey is difficult. Our motherhood journey is wonderful. Our motherhood journey is sanctifying us. Mary’s was too. And if we remember this, all while focused on imitating Mary, perhaps then our mornings will turn from frustration with our children to joyous awe of them.
For life is all too short to show anything but love.