Growing up, I always thought Mother's Day was a bit corny. Dad told me it was a day to honor my mom and tell her I loved her. But I told her that every day. I knew we got to go out to eat but it was always to some boring restaurant with my grandmothers and great aunts. They didn't even have a playground! Or a kid's meal! I remember thinking, "How does sitting quietly in a chair eating boring food like green beans qualify as 'special'? We eat green beans all the time! Special is going to McDonalds and getting a nice cold ice cream cone after you get all hot and sweaty playing on the playground!" Still, every Mother's Day some teacher had me make a card with my picture or handprint on it and Mom would cry every year.
When I was in college and then as an adult I appreciated the day a little more. I saw it as a chance to let mom know just how special she was. I made efforts to travel to see her or go out of my way to love on her just a little bit. (I can, however, think of 2 Mother's Days that I screwed up royally. Man do I regret those days in hind-sight!)
As a young married woman I remember Mother's Day meant the day would be filled with a twinge of pain. A twist of heart ache for the babies I wasn't carrying. None were so gut-wrenching as the Mother's Day just 2 months after my miscarriage. I remember soaking my husband's shirt with tears as I cried for the baby we lost. I still celebrated the moms in my life and I was thrilled to honor them. But in it all was a seed of hurt that never quite went away.
Last year many people wished me a happy first Mother's Day but I felt guilty accepting their praise. I was big and pregnant and while I had put in my motherhood time in the morning sickness department, that was it. I hadn't labored to bring this child into the world. I hadn't spent sleepless nights pacing the floor with a crying baby. My child was still tucked in safe and secure - not running around giving me countless heart attacks each day. I enjoyed the day dreaming about what would be, but didn't really count it as my first Mother's Day.
This year, however, was different. I've put in my time on the motherhood clock. I'm in the mothering trenches every day! (And I love it!) But something else changed this year. Suddenly Mother's Day didn't seem quite so corny. Yes, DJ showered me with love and a break from kitchen duty. Yes, Caleb slept in and was happy all day long - even though he didn't get many naps during the day. Yes, we finally got to take the family portraits I've been begging for since January. But more than that - I had a chance to reflect on my blessings. I got to look at the man God gave me to stand by my side. I got to look into the eyes of the little boy who made family our name. And I got the blessing of another day to love them. This mothering business is already going by way too fast. (As DJ pointed out several times yesterday - my baby is almost 10 months old. That's sneaking dangerously close to not being a baby anymore, folks!) I also realized all of the mothers who poured their hearts into me in order to get me where I am today. I wouldn't be the woman I am without a mom who sacrificed everything to stay home with the 3 of us. She didn't just teach me how to be a woman, she taught me how to be a wife, how to be a mom, and how to glorify God every step of the way. She cherished me even at my worst and always made me feel like I was her favorite child (despite my sibling's insisting that they're her favorite). For that, I am forever grateful.
I love you mom! Thank you for teaching me about life. Thank you for staying home when it was the tough thing to do. Thank you for showing me, every day, how to lay down my life for my family. I'm the mom I am to Caleb because of the mom you are to me.
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