Mothers day is pretty wonderful around here. Of course there is lots of food, and presents, and sweetness to mark the day. I missed my Mom this year, but felt close to her at mass this morning. I always feel close to her when I pray, and that makes it so much easier to tolerate.
But I did something different this year for Mother's Day. I knew it might be difficult to be without my Mom, and so a few weeks ago I got to thinking about what it really means, once again, to be a mother. After all its not really about new patio furniture ( YES, score- I actually got some- its gorgeous!) or chocolates ( although having just lost 9 pounds on a diet makes me wish right about now that it WAS all about chocolate- dang!), or bubble bath, or flowers, so what is it about? When does it really matter that I am a Mother?
I asked God to gently remind me for the last few weeks what it meant to be a Mother, by nudging me in the moments that counted. Here is what I discovered:
It mattered when Michael held my hand at the track meet, in front of all his friends and walked with me to his events blissfully unaware he was gripping it tight. While waiting on line for his heat, he walked back over to me and said" When you stay here with me I can run, but sometimes if I can't see you I don't want to anymore." So,I told him I'd stay where he could see me.
It mattered when Andrew asked my thoughts on a political situation in the news that he was researching for class. He wanted to share his thoughts, and hear my perspective.
It mattered when Mary and Sarah asked me to come outside and draw with their new chalk on the sidewalk. They made pictures of me and them, and picked flowers to go on the border of each to frame it.
It mattered when Peter called me while I was out to get a recipe for something he wanted to cook up in the kitchen. I started giving him cooking lessons years ago. Now we both love to cook and Pete gets downright excited about making something awesome.
It mattered when Thomas brought Fred and I a picture he drew of us holding his hands under a rainbow. I saved it as he is nine and I'm not so sure how many more of these I might still receive.
It mattered when John-Paul, seeing me sad over the recent loss of my own mom, comforted me with a hug and reassuring words from the bible.
It mattered when Matthew came to me and asked to help him on a school project without getting frustrated and instead showed gratitude for the help.
It mattered when Joseph not only finished off his school work for the year, but then asked if he could help his younger siblings with what they needed instead of going out to play.
It mattered when I cuddled with Sophia in the middle of the night, (and made room for Mary and Sarah as well)
All of these situations are so different. Sometimes I was asked to give of myself, and other times I was able to see how much my children had grown and were able to give of themselves. Mothers don't simply give, they also receive the gift of their children in all the ways it comes to them through the years. I feel so blessed to have a generous span to view these lives through.