There are few things I've found greater pleasure in than being a mother. I loved feeling the little pitter-patter of a little one growing inside me while I was pregnant. I love snuggling a sleeping baby in my arms. I love seeing them smile or hearing them giggle in their sleep. Even with my fussy ones, I felt pleasure at the fact that I had the skill to soothe them when no one else could. I got called to the nursery week after week because they cried inconsolably, but when they saw me, they smiled. I never had that kind of power before I became a mother.
I love the fact that I know our children better than anyone else in the world. Daddy certainly knows them well. And Grandma knows them well. But I know them in a special way from having carried them and nursed them and been their mommy. It's a special bond like no other.
I'm sure I've laughed more since I became a mother than I ever did in the years before that. It started when I was expecting J with giggle fits - sometimes at inappropriate times - which I blamed on hormones. It's continued with laughing at their goofy antics and silly jokes and cute expressions, and seeing their joy at discovering the world and the people around them.
I love lying next to them and having "Mommy time" before bed each night. We talk about the things we did that day. They ask questions about things they didn't understand. They tell me about their hopes and dreams. (Like J wants to be the Cash Cab driver when he grows up and H would like to visit Costa Rica someday - although she's not sure why.) I love hearing them sing and listening to their prayers.
I love watching them grow up into little people, seeing their personalities unfold, and being in the position to influence that process. It's a sobering responsibility, but one I wouldn't trade for anything.
When I think about what a wonderful design the family is and how much pleasure I've gotten from being a part of one, I can't help but know that God is good. All the joy is His design. It's marred by the effects of sin, to be sure, but I firmly believe the family is the most wonderful institution in our society. I suppose there's no reason we couldn't have been made to reproduce like plants or amoeba. We could be like animals that care for their young until they can walk and eat, then send them on their way. But God loves us enough to have designed a much better way - one that reflects His relationship with us. One that allows us to glimpse the depth of the sacrifice that He made for us when He gave His only Son for us. One that gives us a chance to experience a pleasure like no other - the pleasure of being part of a family.
It's all because God is good.