Today. Mother’s Day. A day we celebrate the Mamas. There is a beauty in never knowing exactly what you’re signing up for when you decide you’re ready to become a mother. Or, when life decides you are. Hidden treasures… perhaps realities that would scare the living “bejeezus” out of us if we knew of them before becoming a mother. There is a safety mechanism in not knowing these things until you experience them. Ha!
For example, these are the only pictures I’ve managed to capture today, on Mother’s Day, with my children.
That’s because when they were taken (as a selfie by my 9-year old), my 2 year old was racing around the house screaming that she did NOT want her Dad to change her dirty diaper and she wanted him to “leave it alone” while my middle child was huddled in a corner of the living room crying because she did not realize that she, herself would not be receiving gifts today since she IS the daughter of a mother, and that it’s not fair and so sad and that she wants to change her birthday to today because August is TRULY too long to wait. Yes. Hidden treasures. Hidden treasures.
Today, we had church at our house. That’s right. We are a part of a house church movement and we are hosting for the month of May. After church, all the kiddos (sometimes 17 total) all race up the stairs, often famished, and tired, closely followed by the (often also famished and tired) adults who’ve been pouring into them for the past 1.5-2 hours of the morning. Often we pull together a meal for those sticking around and it always seems to work. It’s one of my favorite things actually.
Today, my almost 5 year old, Harper, sweetly snuggled around the table up next to one of my dear friends (who is not yet a Mama herself) and whispered, “Happy Mother’s Day.” My friend chuckled and hugged Harper in thanks. We all smiled. But, I got to thinking and yes, today is about that—today is about thanking ALL the MAMAS. Because here is the truth:
BEHIND EVERY MAMA IS AN ARMY OF MAMAS
The neighbor down the street who opens her doors for your kiddos literally every time they show up to play.
The not-yet-Mama friend whose creative patience steps in and kindly teaches the moment your own frazzled patience is nearly depleted.
The new Mama friend whose baby girl is not yet talking and who takes crazy joy in watching your own children in the things they say and do, reminding you that every moment truly is an incredible gift.
The Mama friend who quietly recognizes that you’re doing a good job as you (thank the sweet heavens) are able to diffuse a nearly explosive 2-year old temper tantrum.
The Mama friend who you walked with every week, each of your perspective 3-6 week olds wrapped on your bellies, your minds full of wonder as you discover the road of motherhood together, knowing that this is cementing your friendship—this moment of experiencing the exact same stage of life together.
The Mamas who are your “soul sisters” with whom you’ve journeyed with some for over 15 years of friendship with and saved a string of text messages that are almost a year old, simply to look back on and be reminded that they are there. They will drop anything to support you and they choose to make your friendship a major priority, despite any distance or path we all choose to take.
The Mama who birthed you and walked the road of childhood, teens, and now adulthood by your side—watching you grow, as she wonders if she’s truly given her all and done best for you throughout these years. You have Mama—you have.
The Mama who was in no way connected to you until your family started volunteering at the local Alzheimer’s facility—the one you can’t wait to see because of the way she allows you to hold her hand, allows your girls to pour out their own curious love as they stroke her shock white hair and beautiful wrinkly skin. The way (despite the fact that she meets you anew each time you visit) she always finds a moment to grip your arm, look straight into your eyes and say, “You are blessed Mama. Look at them! (pointing fiercely at my girls skipping around the room). YOU are blessed. And so are THEY. So are they.”
This week I was at the park with my 3 little ladies. I was sitting, watching them swing, watching them just be together. They were beautiful and it took my breath away. I found myself filling up just thinking that they are forming relationships that will stand the test of time! They will someday be “The Mamas” for one another and their own sweet friends.
I also was able to sneak away for a date with my middle daughter this week. She and I had noodles at her favorite restaurant and I acknowledged the fact that she was with just me, so wondered if she wanted to take that opportunity to ask me ANY question she wanted.
She began with small talk, “So… how was your day?” (ahh… so stinking cute) and quickly dove deep.
“Mom… what helps to make you be a good Mom?” Whoa. I took a minute and gave her a list of 3 things:
- You and your sisters- you guys are amazing and you make me want to love better each day
- Doing something each day that fills my heart up
- My support system (your daddy, friends and family who help to remind me I’m doing a good job)
It takes a village. I’ll die believing it. And I hope my daughters see that and believe it too. We weren’t created to go it alone. Mothering. It’s a wild and crazy ride—one that will change you if you’ll let it. It’s a dying to self (daily) and a choosing to say yes as often as we can. We lay down our expectations and pick up what is before us. We choose love. We choose play. Our weaknesses are exposed and we are learning, always learning. We celebrate the victories together and share in our deepest fears. But together, always together.
So today, to ALL of my sweet, sweet Mamas: Thank you! I’m so glad to be doing life by your side.