Do you ever think about your mama's voice? We all have images of what that might mean . . . .for some of us the memory of Mama's Voice brings back visions of our childhood. It might bring memories of Mama fixing supper and calling us in from our backyard adventures. For others the suggestion of Mama's Voice perhaps recalls times of singing lullabies in a rocking chair, or being on the receiving end of a willow switch pulled hastily from the nearest tree. In those moments of Mama's Terror, she probably said some things that sounded pretty dramatic: "Don't you EVER go by the lake again, young lady, or I'll . . . . . " whatever the rest of the threat might have been. Hard to remember, because all the while the ranting and raving of Terrified Mama was resounding off the trees and houses in the neighborhood, that willow switch was stinging one little girl's tiny hiney all the way home. Guess I remember Mama's Voice THAT day.
Or maybe your Mama's Voice still invades your daily routine, with voice messages on your phone reminding you to take Maddie to the dr. because she has a runny nose, and be sure to check Hunter's shoes because they seemed a bit too small on Tuesday. For some of us, Mama's Voice is a distant memory, haunting our moments of silence, as we realize that we never really even knew our Mama. I'll bet that happens to lots of us. And then, when we are the Mama, do we ever wonder what our children remember about our voice, our words, our presence in their lives?
Of course, most mamas try their best to be a Good Mama . . . . and most of us are. But then, there are those times when we stumble and fall somewhere along the way. Then what? Then there is God's grace. Of course, if you have never, ever lost your patience with your children, or ever uttered a single word in fear, anxiety, exhaustion, or anger, then none of this matters. But Mama's Voice is a powerful presence in everyone's life, and if we can reflect back on how we responded to our Mama's Voice, it might help us to redeem the time that we have with our own children. Our Drama Diva frequently says, "Mama, I like your Happy Voice." Well, that's a good thing, but sometimes this lil' darlin' needs to hear Mama's Stern Voice . . . especially when she is being a bit bossy with her sister.
As I think of my Mama's Voice, and how I no longer have the opportunity hear her speaking to me, I wonder if I listened to what she was REALLY saying or if I just let her words kind of fall unceremoniously to the ground. And she knew it, I'm sure. And as I think of my voice as the Mama, I know that my words have not always been what my children needed to hear, but that's one of the good things about Mama's Voice . . . . we can speak words of forgiveness, and we can ask forgiveness, and we should do it before it is too late. Mama's Voice won't be around forever.