I have heard women say that they don't want gifts on Mother's Day.
That sounds like a lovely, selfless, and deeply MOM thing to say- but I for one have come to a place in my life where I can admit that I want SOMETHING for Mother's Day.
I could give and give to my children. I could lose literally years of sleep, add excessive stretch to my skin and length to my breasts and bags to my eyes and then on the one day a year where everybody is supposed to do something for me, I could say, "Oh- you didn't need to do that! I don't want anything!"
But I would be lying. They DO need to do that. Sometimes, somebody, does need to do something for me. Sometimes my children can and should care about me and think about me and spoil me.
This isn't even really about stuff though- I think we all know that. It is about the kind of people I want my children to BE.
A good mother devotes years of her life to her children. She may have other interests, hobbies, work, and time commitments. But for almost 20 years, much of that revolves around her children and their needs. Why does she do it? For a bracelet once a year?
No. She does it because she wants to raise good people. Good people who think of others first sometimes. Good people who are grateful for the things other people do for them. Good people who are thoughtful and kind and loving. Good people who recognize that sometimes duty to those around us and those we love can make the world a better place. I try to do all the things FOR my children that I someday want to see them do for OTHERS.
This motherhood thing isn't just for kicks or fun or entertainment or even online feelings of superiority- there is an end goal. That end goal is a deeply good person. A human being who brings love and joy and honor to the world.
One tiny way that my children and your children can show that they are grateful, loving, kind, thoughtful and good is take one day out of the year and recognize their mother. A breakfast. A day without chores. A handmade necklace. A card. A hug and a song- all of these little things can show in a tiny way that yes- maybe my children ARE the people that I want them to be.
But of course- my four year old does not even KNOW about Mother's Day. She can't read. She doesn't understand the passing of months and the days on the calendar and the little imaginary holidays that countless adults have come up with.
No- the gift my four year old gave to me (a hand print to hang on my wall, and beads to wear around my neck) were not her idea.
They were the idea of a mother.
A mother who taught her class at church or a mother who teaches my son at school any one of the many people who also have a place in my children's lives and their growth- those are the people who make sure that each mother is recognized on Mother's Day.
So as this special day comes to a close, I want to thank you.
I want to remember the mothers in the world who take the time to teach children to be kind. I want to recognize the living proof that another mother in another year raised a child who grew up and helped my babies string beads on a necklace, or bake a cake, or preserve a hand-print forever.
Thank you for remembering me. You can tell your own mother that she did a great job. She raised a good person who is thoughtful and kind and loving and who knows how to work and who is grateful for others.
I hope that I can do as good of a job with my children as you have done with yours.
(And next year, Hubby, if you are reading- I want to take a nap.)