Mother’s Day has always been something of a disappointment to me. Never able to live up to it’s Hallmark image. My husband and children never able to really do enough to mark it special. I, never able to do enough to mark it special for my mother, mother in law, sister, grandmothers. All of this, measured by my own dissatisfied harsh internal judgment and measuring stick. I have listened to friends lament how it fell short for them. Their husbands or parents or children not able or willing to do what it takes to really honor the sacrifice and work it takes to be a mother. Or the opposite. I have listened to other mothers brag about how perfectly their families celebrated them, and felt pretty depressed about how my own marked the day.
I think I finally ‘GET’ Mother’s Day. Sad that it took facing illness and the fragility of my life to put things in perspective. But then again, I guess that is the way of such things.
I did not DO anything of significance this Mother’s Day. I am housebound, recovering from major surgery, on pain pills and feel accomplished to get a shower. The little bit of something that we planned didn’t go exactly right. I didn’t have a meal with everyone there. I didn’t spend the better part of the day with anyone. I read a book by myself.
But it was the BEST Mother’s Day ever. Perfect in every way.
Because now I ‘GET’ it.
Mother’s Day is not about what recognition we mothers get from those around us.
What makes Mother’s Day special is what is within us. It is about a choice we made however long ago we made it, to be a mother. It is about the undeserved Grace that gave us the opportunity to fulfill that choice, however many times we did. It is about a gratefulness that reaches up from the bottom of our toes, that we are still receiving that undeserved Grace, to keep fulfilling that choice for however long we get.
I talked to several of my friends about their Mother’s Day plans. One friend spent the day taking her sick daughter to the doctor. One friend had all her kids home, and did lots of laundry. Another friend hunted for mushrooms, then went for a run. My mom, who has been taking care of me, went to church by herself, then took my girls shopping. My sister single parented her toddler and prepared for a court case. My grandmother was in the hospital after a fall at age 94.
None of these sound like the Hallmark card commercial we see on TV.
All of these were absolutely perfect in every way.
Because any and every minute of Mother’s Day we can stop and look at how amazing it is that we are ABLE to be here doing these things. These unglamorous, under valued, simple but magnificent mother things.
One of my biggest fears as a mother, is that I will somehow not be here to see these children through their lives. I brushed right up against that fear this year. I touched it, tasted it, looked it square in the eye. I will never be the same.
So no matter how imperfect I am. No matter how bad my pain is after surgery. No matter how incapacitated I am. No matter how long it will take to recover. No matter how much of what I normally do as mom I CAN’T right now.
I am HERE. Through completely undeserved Grace. I am a mother in this world being simply who I am for these 4 children. For another Mother’s Day.
Perfect in every way.