My son and I were chatting the other night when I suddenly asked him, “What do you think about when you think about Mother’s Day?”
He’s a man so of course he’s suspicious of my motives.
So I clarify, “I mean…since you were raised in a ‘normal’ house, I want to know what you think about when you know Mother’s Day is coming up.”
I see his shoulders relax. He thinks about it for a second and then says, “Nothing really. It’s just a day for us to tell you how much we love you.”
Best. Answer. Ever.
I used to dread Mother’s Day. For me it was a day that I was sure I would disappoint my mother in some form or fashion. Since nothing I did was ever enough for her, having an entire 24 hour period soley dedicated to the art of disappointing her and not measuring up was not something to which I looked forward. No matter what gift I purchased, how much time I spent in her company or how many times I told her I loved her, at some time during that day she would let me know that I also did not do X Y or Z and therefore she was not happy. Not always…but at least 99 3/4% of the time.
As a little girl and teenager this made me sad but as I got older I came to understand that it was something in her and not me that was causing this. I didn’t know what and it didn’t make things any better but I stopped feeling it was my fault. It wasn’t until long after she was gone that I came to understand her brokeness. This allowed me to forgive her and acknowledge my love for her and most of all, find some peace.
So having Matthew give me that simple answer was one of the nicest Mother’s Day presents I have ever received. To know that I have raised my children without guilt or disappointment is a blessing. To know that I have instilled in them the simplicity of loving someone not for what they bring you or do for you but rather for how they sit in your heart is a miracle.
So THIS Mother’s Day I want to say thank you to my children for making the job of being their mom the greatest experience of my life.
Thank you for the sweet scent of baby hair after a bath.
Thank you for “I love you’s” spoken with a lisp or through tears or first thing in the morning (and all the other times too).
Thank you for hugs that started with you in my arms and now are me in your arms. (I know I’m short. So what.)
Thank you for trusting me with your secrets and understanding when I couldn’t keep them.
Thank you for understanding that I couldn’t be your friend (or marry you when you grow up) because I’m your mom. First. Foremost. Always.
Thank you for making me laugh like no one else on the planet can make me laugh.
Thank you for forgiving me when I mess up.
Thank you for wanting your mommy when no one else will do…not even dad.
Thank you for letting me be their to check for a fever with a kiss, calm the fear of a thunderstorm, swat away a bee, heal a broken heart with a hug, or help you work through an issue by just listening.
Thank you for teaching me what sportsmanship is, what true sharing means and that sometimes you just need to throw a fit before you’re going to get over it.
Thank you for letting me share all the firsts and wanting me there. First tooth, haircut, word, step, laugh. First day at school. First heartbreak. First prom. First real accomplishment. First real love. Graduations. Moving out. Marriages. Births.
Thank you for always wanting to come home.
Thank you for letting me be a mom. Not just your birth mother…or step mother…or aunt mother…but your real, honest to goodness, mom.
Thank you for touching a place in my soul I never knew I had. I love you.