Her children rise up and call her blessed. Yeah, right. Maybe someone else's children do that. Not mine, and I wish they would stop rising so darn early. That would be a blessing. The thoughts that churned in this mother's heart when it beat stronger and surer a half decade ago when I was up to my eyeballs in diapers and sippy cups.
Today is Mother's Day. To celebrate, Claire drew me a card on a piece of notebook paper in church where she was informed by today's sermon that it is a significant day. Happy mothers Day, Mama! A bouquet of flowers drawn underneath. For lunch, we hit the McDonald's drive through (where the cashier wished me a Happy Mother's Day) and then went to Lowe's for home improvement materials (where an employee operating a fork truck said the same). It has been a great day.
I do mean this. Around here, every day is Mother's day. Not the saccharine, stress-inducing, sainted, card-bestowing, mother-worshipping kind of day. Thank goodness! No, I mean the kind where the children rise up and bless me in a thousand considerate, unexpected ways.
Kindness springs forth from my offspring as naturally as breathing. I am typing this post on my knees, not because I'm praying, but because I'm too lazy to go get a chair. John sees this and brings me one. The girls notice where there is work to be done and they do it to ease my workload. Charlie wraps his arms around me a hundred times a day and kisses me...on one cheek and then the other and then on the forehead. I kiss him back in the same manner. "I love you SO much, Mama" he says while squeezing his arms tight around my neck. Sometimes I'm wrapped in ten-arm hugs and pummeled with ten-hand backrubs.
"You look pretty, Mama." This surprises me too...that my children notice what I wear and are free with extravangant words of praise. "I like that shirt, Mom. It is the same color as your eyes." They bring me armloads of wildflowers and arrange them in vases until the whole house flowers with the affection of these young ones.
They love me enough to call me on my shortcomings, too. Not in an aggravated or disrespectful way but gently, in a way that makes me want to be better than I am now.
And this, this gets to the heart of my astonishment. I have offered my children a little...a little love and care and nurture, mixed with some grumbling and entire days of hot temper and occasional despair. Yet, they flourish. They are good because of me and in spite of me. I'm learning the loaves and fishes principle applies to motherhood. These young saplings, the same ones I thought would never see beyond their own needs are beginning to look out, to bud and flower and bear fruit in abundance.
To John...and Lauren...and Faith...and Claire...and Charlie. I am blessed to be your Mama. Happy Mother's Day!