I was going to skip doing any kind of post about Mother's Day this year. I've done them faithfully every year, but they are always pretty much the same: a recap of how sweet the kids were and how Mike busts his hump so that I can loll about most of the day. I lead a charmed life, and for this I am both very aware and very, very grateful. I would enjoy my day and my family, but spare you the details.
This morning I received an e-mail from Danielle that made me reconsider. I opened her e-mail to find this picture, and these words:
Yes, that is me holding my precious little man Friday evening for the very first time, at two weeks of age. I was blessed enough to hold him for 1 hour and 45 minutes! It literally felt like 15.
I pray that each of you enjoys your Mother's Day as I will enjoy mine. I pray that each of you will cherish each touch from each of your precious children that God worked so hard to create and bring here. I pray that you remember that they are on loan to you from God and that they are a gift. I pray this for myself as well. Samuel has reminded me of all of this again. I know very well with my girls it can sometimes be hard to enjoy the screaming, and fighting, the messes and the late nights being awake. But I am now thankful for these moments because I now know that they can scream because their lungs are healthy and developed. They can fight because their bodies are strong and nourished. They are able to make messes and keep you up late at night because they are home. These are things before Samuel that I forgot how important they were. How significant they are. I am not a mother without my children. I pray that your day is blessed and peaceful and wonderful with your family. But I truly pray on this Mother's Day that you are reminded of the small things that make life great and soak them up. Please enjoy every ounce of that on your day. I know that I will– and I am thankful for this revelation this year so that I can enjoy my girls and my little man in a whole new light.
I found myself sitting on the patio this afternoon, watching Elena and Eli play and thinking of Danielle's words.
I've been a mother for 8 years now, but at times it feels like 8 minutes. I always hated it when older, seasoned parents would admonish me to enjoy every last minute, that it goes by so fast. It's not the kind of advice you can really appreciate, when you're tired, unshowered and leaky, pacing around with a baby that won't stop crying. Really? I would think. If I went to sleep right now and woke up in six months I'd be totally okay with that. Take some pictures for me.
Once the fog passes, though, I've been able to come out on the other side and see that, yes, it does go quickly. My Mother's Days of watching Mike run himself in circles so I don't have to do anything are nearly done. Eli is almost 4, Elena nearly 9, and it is so much easier now.
I mean, good night, they're already so self-sufficient. All they'll need me for next year is to bring them fruity drinks with umbrellas.
As Danielle reminded me, the things that make motherhood so unnerving and frustrating at times – the squabbling, the whining, the neediness – these are things that make up a home with healthy, vibrant children. And I would take it all a hundred times over, knowing of the good stuff I'd be missing out on otherwise.
I wouldn't wish what Danielle and Cliff are going through on anyone. I imagine the pain and the darkness they surely encounter and I pray for it to pass quickly. Still, I feel joy in my heart when I think of Samuel and what his struggle teaches all of us: to believe in miracles, to trust in God's promises, and to love the messy yet beautiful blessings of our children.
Happy Mother's Day.