Texas Women

After observing one daughter’s particular talent, a friend said, “You raised a good girl.”

I get compliments like that all the time. Really. Because my daughters are good. And talented. And kind, and smart.

In an attempt to light-heartedly deflect what I feel is undeserved praise, I often respond with,

 “I take no credit. I take no blame.”

That really is not some clever dissembling to hide some maternal self-regard. No, I honestly feel like God gave me really, really good women as daughters, who would be patient with a deeply flawed person, utterly lacking in natural maternal skills. Once-upon-a-time I didn’t even want children, knowing my own shortcomings. Then I had a change of heart. I still possessed all those shortcomings, try as I might to overcome them. The rougher edges are mostly gone as I have earnestly sought to be a good mother, but I am as yet terribly flawed. I rely on the atonement and the long-suffering of my children to, hopefully, overlook my errors and screw-ups.

Sister Julie Beck once told a story of going to visit a ranch with her mother. The rancher explained that in breeding cattle, it is the aim of the rancher to improve upon successive generations of cattle by producing heifers that are even better specimens than their mothers. Sister Beck’s mother remarked that that is the goal of every mother.

God gave me good girls. Much better specimens than myself. I am grateful.

And I take no credit.