I guess I don’t subscribe to what the world thinks Mother’s Day should be. Some go out to breakfast or lunch. Some plant flowers or go to concerts or go on shopping sprees. Perhaps I didn’t get the memo but I don’t want those things on Mother’s Day. I want something that can’t be wrapped but stays with you forever. I want the one thing that is in short supply…time. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting new plants that I can plant in my yard and I love cards, more if they are homemade. I love kisses and mothers day hugs with wishes for a wonderful day that come with a smile. I don’t want to “do nothing” and relax or spend the day all alone. I don’t care about trips or shopping on Mother’s Day and I definitely don’t want to go to some crowded restaurant to wait for a meal for an hour.
On Mother’s Day I want to see my children for the day. I want to cook for them and sit with them and talk to them about everything going on in their worlds. I want to sit and watch movies all crowded up on the bed that once fit us all so snugly but now is smaller because they have grown so much. I want to sit in my yard around a fire roasting marshmallows or having moments sitting in a hammock quietly with them saying nothing. I want help with the dishes and picking up after we eat without being asked. I want to watch a mean game of ping pong on the porch and I want to be the reason they say no to invites elsewhere on these holidays. I want to bake goodies and have them steal some behind my back/ in front of my face and giggle when I swat them away. I want the thing that is slipping away most…time. I want their time and smiles and laughter. I have been taking care of them since they took their first breath in and this is what brings me the most happiness and it is what I want to do on Mother’s Day.
It’s not about the gifts, it’s about the time. This year I had a day to get my house in order from months of neglect as responsibilities had everyone away from home and busy during the day. This actually was peaceful and made me appreciate their absence. I had moments to just think about how much I love my kids and what they mean to me. I restored order to my world so I can move onto the next thing and then I went for a run and felt happy and healthy too. I ran off the sadness that has been creeping in as I think about my son at the pinnacle of his youth getting ready for senior prom and graduation and going away to college. I know he’s not going far but he won’t be there every day and not seeing him every day will be most hard for me. I ran that sadness right out of me because I hate when it creeps in. I always feel better after a run. A shower later I had an hour rest and then I cooked a great meal for everyone. Cooking for my family makes me happy because they can’t wait to chow down whenever I cook and especially when I bake. My Mother’s Day was lovely and it ended just the way I wanted it to, with me and the kids all crowded on a bed that doesn’t really fit us that well anymore as we huddled together and watched a movie that we didn’t make it through. We were so tired and we dozed off but we were together and my heart was filled with joy and THAT is what Mother’s Day means to me.
I will make an addendum here to admit that I do like presents when I get them, I just don’t want the day to be about that. It’s not about what you get that you unwrap, it’s about love and thoughtfulness and time spent together just to enjoy one another. Anyway, my wonderful Daughter Katy brought me an unbelievable hanging plant and a pretty wind chime with a butterfly that flaps its wings if you give it a little bounce. It made me smile because not only was it a butterfly that has come to be a symbol for my life, but because it made her SO proud to have picked it out and given it to me. It is just like the little candle she made for me one early morning at 4am when she was four which she dragged me out of bed to see. As I grumbled about the hour and how she needed to go back to bed because it was too early to be up….when I got to the kitchen I cried like a baby when she said “I made it for you” and I saw the beautiful little delicate wax bead candle that she made for me for no reason at all other than she loves me. THAT is what filled her face as she gave me those things.
On Mother’s Day I see the candle and the little clay bear that sits on my kitchen shelf that was made with love and given with pride and a big fat hug and kiss and “I love you” by my son. I see the pictures drawn by my second son that hang on the wall like an art museum. These are the things I cherish on Mother’s Day and every day. Jim Croce said it best: