Do you smell that? It’s the smell of tempera paint, clay, a fresh pack of construction paper, and Elmer’s glue mixed with some misshapen waffles and the aroma of overpriced flowers. Ah…the smell of Mother’s Day.
Kids (and dads) everywhere are hustling to put final touches on homemade gifts. Reservations for brunch are being made. Men of the family are struggling to put together menus for family get-togethers that don’t consist solely of barbequed meat and beer. Gift certificates for manicures, pedicures, and massages are being bought at an alarming rate. Hallmark stock is likely skyrocketing.
I myself always look forward to seeing what my kids and husband cook up for me every Mother’s day, both literally and figuratively. But as a post my friend Maggie (check out her awesome blog at Perspectives Writing & Editing…little plug) made the other day on Facebook, it really does not take much to show us mothers some honest appreciation. I would be happy if my kids could just understand that I would give my life for them at any given second of any given day…and treat me accordingly as the unselfish and heroic queen that willingness to sacrifice proves me to be, bowing to my every wish and command. I guess breakfast in bed is nice, too.
But honestly, nothing my children could give me could ever match the gift I was given simply with their advents into my life: a true and pure understanding of unconditional love. Never have I ever been so angry or upset with my kids that I did not tiptoe myself into their rooms after they were asleep, whisper a kiss across their foreheads, and silently thank God for the dreaming little blessings before me. And it will always be that way. I know that because the moment my oldest child came to be and I was able to feel that unconditional love stirring within me was also the moment I understood, for the very first time, just how much I was loved by someone else. For me, it took becoming a mother to know the depths of my own mother’s love for me. To look at my daughter and my son, to feel my adoration without horizons for them, and to realize I am the source of that same feeling in someone else…well…that is a beautiful revelation.
I think those of us especially with young children get wrapped up in Mother’s Day being “ours.” We are now a part of that sacred female community, and we feel a bit entitled to a day where we get a pat on the back for surviving sleep deprivation, temper tantrums, and assaults of various disgusting messes and smells. But when you get those adorable cards with crayon lettering, framed handprints, and handmade beaded necklaces that you will sentimentally treasure for the rest of your days, just remember that somewhere in a box or a closet in the house you grew up in, your mother has packed away all those little things you made for her. And now, you will understand why.
Happy Mother’s Day, especially to my mom. I love you.
(P.S. Mom, you just said the other day that you told someone, “Her blog will make you laugh…and cry.” Well, I’m guessing the tissues are out on this one. Sorry.)