Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

Certain days of the year build expectations that are often not fulfilled. Valentines Day. Birthdays. Christmas. Even Mother's Day. For some, the days before such events are filled with anticipation. For others, the days before are filled with dread, trying to prepare oneself for...well, nothing. Once the day arrives, you try your best to not be disappointed, history has told you not to expect much, if anything. But somehow those feelings of hurt and disappointment creep in. No matter how hard you try to shove them into the deepest, darkest, secret place inside you, those feelings keep resurfacing. After the disappointment comes the feeling of guilt. Who am I to think that for one day I should be treated like a princess? After the guilt comes the feeling of failure. Maybe I'm not a good mom, maybe I don't deserve to be treated like a princess. Maybe I'm being selfish by even wanting acknowledgement. These maybes only breed the churning emotions and achieves nothing.

Yesterday started well. I had no expectations, I knew better. I thanked God for my children. There are so many women that dread Mother's Day for other reasons. Mothers who have buried their children. Women who want nothing else but to have a child of their own but are unable. Women whose mothers have passed. Mother's Day is a reminder for these women of their grief. A reminder of a void. So I turned my prayers and thoughts away from me and prayed for women who were hurting. I knew that there were others that are suffering far worse than I and my heart truly aches for these women. I tried to focus on my many blessings. I did pretty good until weariness at the end of the day broke me as I softly cried into my pillow. I cried for the grieving moms. I cried for the motherless. I cried for the childless. I cried for the many other women, who like me, were not treated like royalty yesterday...and of course, my selfishness won out and I cried for me.

This morning, before my son woke, I debated if I should share my feelings with my son. I prayed about it. I asked God to guide my words so that no bitterness or blame would come from my lips. I prayed that God would guide my son into a man who would shower his future wife with love and adoration. I know my part in shaping my young son and felt that this conversation must take place. I prefaced our conversation with, "You are still learning and I am not mad." Hoping this would curb his natural need to become defensive. I also explained, "You know when I'm mad but I won't talk about it? I stomp around and act grumpy? I need to share with you why I feel the way I do because it wouldn't be fair to you if I didn't." and "If we truly love each other we should be open to listening how the other feels." I preceded to explain how I felt and what I would have liked (I told him a homemade card and dandelions from the yard would have been perfect).

We worked in the kitchen together as we talked. I was making lemon poppy seed muffins and he was making pancakes for the him and the daycare children. After he made silver dollar cakes for the kids, he made two big cakes for himself. Instead of sitting down to eat, while I served the kids, he was moving around from room to room and then went outside to feed his rabbit. He returned while I was washing the dishes and insisted on finishing them for me. Now I felt guilty...but blessed. How many mothers get this kind of service the day AFTER Mother's Day? While he washed the dishes, I entered the playroom/office to find this:
A cup of coffee, pancakes with strawberries (he sacrificed his pancakes to give to me and added the strawberries that I didn't even know we had), homemade card, tulip and bleeding hearts (which he had to pick in the rain). He put such care into each detail.

I am truly blessed. He went above and beyond in an effort to prove his love to his mother.

And lest you think I have a horrible husband...I don't. He's a good man. He's just not a planner. At 8:00 pm on Saturday night while we discussed visiting his mom for Mother's Day, he said in a shocking tone, "Hey, it's Mother's day for you too tomorrow"...like this was one big, shocking surprise. He didn't go out of his way to "remember" me but he shows me everyday (in his way) that he loves and appreciates me. In fact, yesterday he sacrificed time to put in my garage-sale-new-to-me sink and vanity.

So, other than a visit to my mother-in-laws, I spent Mother's Day making meals for my family, cleaning the bathroom, doing dishes, folding laundry...you know, the regular "Mom duties".  No day off from being a mom. No breakfast in bed. No cards or gifts. However, I am so thankful that God has blessed me with this responsibility. I am thankful that I have a family to care for. I love being a mom and I love my children....and somehow that is gift enough for me.

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