May 12, 2013
Today is Mother’s Day. Probably the sappiest and most over-wrought holiday on the calendar Millions will be spent on mushy cards, flowers, perfume, and jewelry as we all try to find just the right thing for our beloved Mothers, the epitome of all that is good and right with the world…
Well, I am a mother and let me tell you, it’s not all sweetness and light from where I am sitting! Being a mother is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Not only are you entrusted with the care and raising of a completely helpless human being, you are given this task without the proper manuals and guide books needed to really do it right. Instead you are told “Oh it’s ok—you’ll get the hang of it!” as they pat you knowingly on the back and leave, snickering behind their hand as you stare down at this drooling, pooping, crying little soggy hot mess of humanity and panic. What if you get it wrong?! Then what?!
Well guess what. I was one of the lucky ones and got blessed with two of the most amazing daughters God ever put on this earth, but that doesn’t mean it was easy! I am pretty sure God took a look at me and my husband and said to Michael, “Hey—go easy on those two. Give them a couple of the old souls we have hanging around up here or they could really jack them up!” So Michael went down the list and found two girls that fit the bill. Intelligent, strong-willed, with just enough sass to make them interesting but not enough to have me tearing out my hair—well, not too much any way!
My ideas about parenting weren’t found in any books. In fact, I pretty much just remembered everything that my parents had done to me and did the opposite. Natural consequences worked so much better than beating the tar out of them so I hardly ever raised a hand to the girls, despite the old adage that had been drummed into me since early childhood: “Spare the rod and spoil the child”. I raised them with understanding, discipline, respect, and copious amounts of love instead. Go figure—it worked! My girls today are kind, compassionate, self-reliant, opinionated yet respectful. I’m actually quite proud of them!
So today is Mother’s Day. Not sure what we will do—I am sure there will be gifts and maybe dinner out—but whatever it is I will enjoy myself because I will be spending time with two of my most favorite people in the world! Actually that is a gift in itself. As they grow older their lives become busier and I find that they are often gone living those lives without me. That is ok—as a parent I want them to become independent and move on. But I can’t help but be a little saddened as I watch them take these next steps that will bring them fully into adulthood. My babies are growing up and don’t need me to be their mother any more. That part of our lives is over. But maybe, just maybe, I can be their friend who also happens to be their mother. Mother’s Day. Enjoy the fruit of your labors! 🙂