My Mother’s Day celebration started Friday morning with the First Grade Mother’s Day “Tea”. I was surprised by how excited my son was for the event. The night before he told me that he was having a hard time falling asleep because he was so excited for the Tea the next day. He woke up an hour early Friday morning, came downstairs and announced “today’s the tea!” with more enthusiasm than a seven year old should have at 5am. I have to admit, his excitement was both adorable and contagious. I arrived at school later that morning with a host of other first grade moms. The classroom was extra tidy, the desks were covered with paper and each student had drawn a picture for their mom at their desk. The class waited patiently on the rug waiting for everyone to arrive. When everyone was settled, the class recited a poem, sang a couple songs and each student read a list of things that they loved about their mom. Included in my son’s list was “my mom makes my heart happy” (sniff). When the performance was over, we were served our tea and treat (aka a bottle of water and mini muffin). The kids had made a book about themselves and their family -“I have a funny family. I love my funny family.” There was also book about me. It’s always so much fun to see what your kids think of you. Apparently my favorite food is meatballs (I think they are the easiest to draw). I help the family by doing the laundry (it’s not going to do itself). I spend most of my time working. (sad face). When I daydream I think about being rich and going to Hawaii (sounds good to me). And if he could tell me one thing, he would tell me that he loves me (aaaawwww). These are the precious moments that we want to freeze in time. The innocence, the honesty and the purity of emotion is enough to melt your heart and give them whatever they want for the rest of their lives.
As a Mom, you truly realize it’s not the physical gift, it’s the thought behind the gift. We throw that term around a lot, “it’s the thought that counts” but do we really mean it? That phrase is usually reserved for a gift we don’t like right before we hide it in a closet. However, on Mother’s Day we really mean it – we want the thought behind the gift, the meal or the flowers. We want to be recognized, acknowledged for all that we do, but more than that we want to feel appreciated (is that too much to ask?).
The challenge is that you can’t truly appreciate what you don’t fully understand. When I was pregnant for the first time everyone told me how wonderful it was to be a mom. Of course I felt like I knew this already, otherwise why would I put my body through this wonderfully awkward and uncomfortable 40 weeks? Women talk about how they love being pregnant (I was not one of those women). But through the nausea, swollen ankles and sleepless nights, I knew that in the end it would be worth it. So after 14 hours of labor, 2 hours of pushing and hearing “you’re almost there”, they handed me my baby girl for the first time. It was at that moment that I got it. The emotions were so much deeper than anyone could have ever explained. It was like the curtains were opened to a window that I had never looked through before. I thought of my mom and my grandmothers and instantly understood them on another level. As I held my baby in my arms for the first time I felt a love unlike any other and I realized I would do anything for this little girl.
It’s this love that propels us through the years into “Super Mom” mode where we are able to accomplish more things in one day that we ever thought possible. Our love for our children helps us get through long nights, exhausting days, book reports, bruised knees, dance recitals, math problems, piano practice, hurt feelings, baseball games and the list goes on. Why do we do it? Because we can’t have it any other way, it’s an automatic reaction of being a Mom. You’d think after this long post I could summarize in a nutshell, but I’ve realized there is no easy way to put it into words. This Mother’s Day, remember it truly is the thought that counts. They are trying their best to relate to something they don’t fully understand and we can’t effectively explain. Live in the moment. Love the experience. Happy Mother’s Day.
I started writing this blog because I wanted to have deeper conversations beyond "How are you?", "Busy", with other parents. Over the years I've shared personal stories, articles, authors and topics to facilitate conversations with parents about the joys and the challenges of parenting.