One day when my youngest was nearly six months old I was sitting with him at our dining room table. It was far too early on a chilly morning near Christmas-time. He kept shoving the food I was offering him off his high chair tray. I was frustrated and grumpy. I had to go to work that day and wasn’t looking forward to it. At that time, I was commuting more than two hours a day, daycare was in opposite direction from my work, and I was still nursing. I was exhausted.
But I really didn’t want to be annoyed with the baby. He was just doing what babies do. He was a particularly sweet baby, too (and today he’s a particularly sweet little boy). I looked at him with new eyes. What if he were Jesus? What would Mary do?
Well, just what would she do? I wasn’t sure. And I am still not sure. But I bet it has something to do with getting together with her cousin Elizabeth and asking for some help. Or at least comparing notes. Sometimes there’s nothing anyone else can do but listen. And oftentimes that’s enough.
It gave me a peaceful feeling to realize that I was not alone. Other people surely had the same challenges I was facing. Even Mary, mother of Jesus, could have. We don’t know since the only story in the bible about Jesus’ childhood is the one where he disappears for days during a family outing.
The original version of What Would Mary Do? was a column-length story that I included it with many of my Christmas cards that year. My friends loved it. As my three sons continued to throw new curve balls at me, the story grew and grew. Nearly a year after the original iteration, I realized that the story should be illustrated. It would be a lighthearted way for moms and children to talk about situations that often caused frustration on both sides. It has been in our house.
My vision is that this book is the first of a series: the ten scenarios that I chose to feature in this introductory book barely scratch the surface of all the quirky kid antics that I, and many other moms I know, experience on a regular basis!
One of the dedications in the book as is follows:
For all the mothers of the world: I respect and honor the beautiful — and often challenging — work you do in bringing forth new life and nurturing the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual aspects of your children. I hope and pray that you can feel God’s love pouring through you. May you see the light of Christ in your children now and always.