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Days of a Mother

It’s Mother’s Day and I feel like I need to say something about it. It’s weird because I am really at a loss for what to say. I blog about mothering, kids, family life, parenting, struggles, grief, love and joy almost everyday. But it’s THE big day and I feel like I should offer something extra special and yeah, I got nothing.

I’ve had a lovely Mother’s Day weekend so far. A great night out with my girls, a day of love and service from my husband and son today completing landscape work and projects. My husband ran a bath for me and I soaked and relaxed for a long time. We picked up sub sandwiches so I wouldn’t have to cook tonight.

Tomorrow after church the kids and grandkids are coming over for brunch. The guys are cooking and serving. It’s pretty adorable.

It’s really nice and I feel honored, loved and blessed. But weird. So weird.

This is not reality, not mother-reality. It’s like some alternate reality, some Earth 2, Multiverse existence (sorry you might need to know comic books to get any of those references).

Don’t get me wrong my kids and my husband often do acts of service and offer me many gifts of love. It’s just weird to have them coming rapid fire back to back. Sitting here soaked, moisturized, rested, with a freshly painted deck and plenty of time to surf on the Book of Face or write and I have nothing to say about Mother’s Day? Nada. There's no material in this cushy Mother's Day World.

I guess for me the beauty of motherhood isn’t in the breakfast in bed moments on my birthday, or Mother’s Days - which are super cute of course - but just a couple days out of 365. The beauty isn’t in the red letter events where I take center stage and they darn near hoist me up on their shoulders and prance me down main street. Don’t worry I raised strong scrapping men. That's not my scene.

Truth is, even though I love those moments and appreciate them. Those are not even close to being the moments where I most feel like a mother. Those moments are like alien encounters.

I prefer these moments… it was just any Tuesday night and my little girl was taking a long bath and I sat in the floor while she sang “da wind began to switch, da house to twitch and suffenly the hinges started to uhhitch. Dust den a witch uh satisfy an itch can frying on her boomstick tumming for a hitch.” She was obsessed with the Wizard of Oz and it was all we talked and sang about for the better part of 6 months.

Those are moments, that's a good Mother's Day. Days when I sat back and watched the Greatest Show on Earth, my children growing up. In slow motion.

Yeah it was a circus, I was the Ringmaster, sometimes they resembled the clowns and I resembled the bearded lady but all good, it was my show.

I will trade you 100 fancy Mothers Days for one more Day to be a Mother like the old days. What I would give to push any one of my children on a swing. Those days when they still hadn’t quite worked out how to stretch out their legs and pull on the chain and propel themselves forward. When they seemed to barely be hanging on while I pushed and they said, “higher, higher”.

Beautiful brunches are divine, don't take my mimosas away from me! But I will trade scones for peanut butter sandwiches at the zoo or the park, or a soccer field any day.

I probably sound terrible. I promise, I treasure these days with my children- two grown and one almost grown. You don't need to write me and tell me that nostalgia will rob me of the happy days I'm living, I love these days too.

I love many, many things about this season of my life. Not the least of which is that I can watch movies at night with the volume on instead of closed caption. No worrying that someone will realize that I’m still awake and need a glass of water.

I adore my son and daughter in law and my granddaughter, sweet cream buttermilk grandchildren are the best part of life, the best … she is a slice of heaven. Liquid happiness and later this year I will have twin grand babies, twins!!! Coming to join her, they will be my little tribe! I understand I have to give up days gone by to experience the blessings to come.

But even these days, present time, I prefer the simple days to the fancy ones. Days when we are all just hanging out eating pizza and playing reverse Charades or Telestrations to the Pomp and Circumstance of a full blown Mother Occasion.

Moving them in their new homes, painting a nursery, pinch hitting in some area where I can make the tiniest bit of difference in their lives. That is the good stuff! I love sitting back and watching these now amazing adults laughing, telling stories and building a house on top of the foundation I worked so hard to carefully lay for them.

I can tell you without an ounce of insincerity that I loved every age and every stage. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment but those difficult days where I went to bed feeling like a failure made me rise again and again determined to give them my best. Sometimes it even worked.

The beauty of motherhood isn’t in the scrapbook. It doesn’t even get photographed or shared on your InstaStory. It is hidden in soft, sleepy morning loves and cuddles. It’s another book at night when it’s way past bedtime. It’s rushing to the scene of their first car accident and crying all the way home thankful they weren’t seriously hurt.

No, the Days of a Mother, unlike Mother’s Day are more like doing their laundry at midnight so their uniform is clean. Searching Webmd and educating yourself on the seizure disorder or medical condition they’ve been diagnosed with, then crying in fear, sorrow and worry until you collapse into resolve and faith and offer it up to God. It’s sore nipples and not being able to afford to get your hair properly colored for a year because…diapers. It’s days that start in chaos with wet sheets and cat vomit and end with a movie and ice cream snuggled on the sofa. I love those days. These regular days, are the days I feel most like a mother. When they need me is when I feel most humbled that my Father in heaven looked upon me and judged me worthy to care for these children.

It’s hard. Of course it is, we’re raising people not growing tomatoes in a container garden on the patio… which ironically I am not always awesome at successfully completing. Like I tell my kids, anything worth doing is going to be hard. I knew it going in. Because it’s hard I feel a powerful connection to them. I’m so thankful for the ways being their mother has matured and molded me.

God took a young, hard-headed girl who could sleep through a hurricane, thought the world revolved around her and wanted more than anything to be a rock star and He made a woman. A woman who could hear the faintest sound of a seizure beginning at 1 am from across the house. He made me a woman who was more patient and flexible than she ever dreamed she could be. He replaced my dreams of being a rock star with the joy of rocking and singing a baby to sleep. Most of all He made me the center of the universe, at least for a time, for three of the most beautiful souls that have ever existed.

Mother’s Day is lovely. It really is, but I prefer the Days of a Mother, all those exhaustingly magical days that have been, all that I cherish now and all those that are still to come.

Happy Mother’s Day.

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