Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

In church today the woman who spoke talked about how Mother's Day used to always be a bad day for her. She said that she used to have so many expectations about what she wanted everyone to do for her, give her, help her with, etc, that she always ended up disappointed.

I'll admit that in previous years (when Ethan was a baby and toddler) I was disappointed because I didn't get breakfast in bed, or any breakfast at all actually. All I truly wanted was to be able to sleep in (the year that we had 1:00 church), and it didn't happen. Of course it didn't help that I didn't actually tell Derek what I wanted. The past few years I've tried not to have too many expectations about what I want to have happen for special occasions, and I'm always happily surprised. This year I didn't get breakfast in bed, but my sweetie made breakfast for all of us today, and helped get the kids ready so we could get to church on time. And he even surprised me with a dozen roses-- something that doesn't happen frequently. The kids made Mother's Day gifts for me at school and at church. What a lucky wife and mother I am!

To all of the wonderful mothers that are in my life-- Grandmothers, my Mom, Derek's Mom, sisters and sisters-in-law, aunts, cousins, and friends, this is for you:

This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up puke laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, "It's okay honey, Mommy's here".
Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies who can't be comforted. This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.
For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON'T.
This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.
This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors.
And for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal bleachers at football , hockey or soccer games instead of watching from the warmth of their cars, so that when their kids asked, "Did you see me, Mom?" they could say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world," and mean it.
This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner. And for all the mothers who count to ten instead, but realize how child abuse happens.
This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the (grand) mothers who wanted to, but just couldn't find the words.
This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children can eat.
For all the mothers who read "Goodnight, Moon" twice a night for a year. And then read it again. "Just one more time."
This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.
This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.
This is for every mother whose head turns automatically when a little voice calls "Mom?" in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home -- or even away at college.
This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches, assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up. Right away.
This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can't find the words to reach them.
For all the mothers who bite their lips until they bleed when their 14 year olds dye their hair green.
For all the mothers of the victims of recent school shootings, and the mothers of those who did the shooting.
For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.
This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful, and now pray they come home safely from a war.
What makes a good Mother anyway?
Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?
Or is it in her heart? Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time?
The jolt that t takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?
The panic, years later, that comes again at 2 A.M. when you just want to hear their key in the door and know they are safe again in your home?
Or the need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?
The emotions of motherhood are universal and so our thoughts are for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation...
And mature mothers learning to let go.
For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.
Single mothers and married mothers.
Mothers with money, mothers without.
This is for you all. For all of us.
Hang in there. In the end we can only do the best we can. Tell them every day that we love them. And pray.
"Home is what catches you when you fall. l - and we all fall."


I know from personal experience that babies don't always come when you'd like them to come, to all of you who haven't yet become a mother due to whatever circumstances, Happy Mother's Day to you too!

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