You know the Mother’s Day clichés. Maybe you even were hoping for a few of them.
I went to bed on Mother’s Day eve wondering if my husband was going to make breakfast and serve me in bed. OR load all the boys up in the car & get my favorite Sunday morning treat…donuts! What special place would we go to lunch? Would I get a pedicure? An afternoon to read & sip hot tea?
The first sounds of my morning were hungry newborn cries. His breakfast in bed. It was the first “happy” moment of the day. Knox slept 11 hours. in. a. row. Meaning hours and hours of uninterrupted sleep for mommy.
Picking up the baby to feed him, then picking up my phone to check email, Facebook, Twitter, I contemplated updating my status: “First gift of mother’s day…great night sleep”. Instead I looked at pictures of other’s homemade Mother’s Day cards…adding to my expectations, I wondered: “Would my boys make me a card?”
At that moment I heard brothers arguing from their shared bedroom. Then a slammed door…running feet…and the words “He called me stupid!” Not quite the gentle, early morning Mother’s Day greeting I was expecting. I responded, “Okay. Tell him you don’t like it, not me.” My husband got up and reminded them to stay in their rooms, quietly until 7 am. Then my hubby crawled back into bed.**
The questioning thoughts began: “Is he going to get up soon? We have to be at church at 9:45 so we can meet his family for lunch at 11:15. Maybe he could still make me breakfast and get ready for church if he starts after 7. I’ll let him sleep.”
An hour passed. I waited. He’s still asleep. My insides started to get angry. “Didn’t I sacrifice a lot for our family. Is it too much to expect one day dedicated to me? All about me? Serving me?” Finally I decided the boys must be fed or we wouldn’t make to church on time.
In frustration I headed downstairs. Fortunately my mood changed when I was greeted by this sweet face & the words: “Happy Mother’s Day, mommy! My robot wants to tell you Happy Mother’s Day too!”
It wasn’t breakfast in bed…it was better. No prompting. He spoke from his heart, making his words even sweeter.
For the past two weeks my foot has been bothering me slightly. It started after my favorite workout…Latin Fusion (a mix of Zumba and hip hop and so much fun). Even though it’s been hurting I’ve continued to work out…because it wasn’t that painful and seemed to just be a strained muscle.
Friday’s weight training was the straw that “broke” the mama’s foot. I couldn’t walk. Literally crawling around downstairs I was in so much pain. Saturday was more of the same.
Waking up Sunday morning to make my own mother’s day breakfast with an injured foot was not my ideal. It was NOT the perfect Mother’s Day Facebook status update.
Neither was lunch at Chili’s with 8 adults and 9 children aged 7 and under. Far from a sophisticated meal with tablecloths and fine china. Children climbed over seats. White shirts covered in queso. Moms quickly shoving food in their mouths. Yet there was laughter & joy & kissing a newborn brother.
After lunch I didn’t get coffee & read a book, but my hubby and older boys went to the grocery store for us. Not a spectacular gesture but meaningful to a mommy with a limp.
The real fun came when instead of going on a date with my husband, he and I took a trip to the ER. Yep. Happy Mother’s Day to me!
I didn’t get a Mother’s Day pedicure…instead I got foot x-rays. Which revealed a stress fracture in my left foot. I didn’t get cute new neutral summer sandals…I got a clunky black walking boot and metal crutches.
Again, even when things aren’t “Facebook perfect”, there are gifts to be found. A quick trip to a new & super efficient ER (not connected with a hospital). A mother-in-law in town for the weekend and able to extend her trip to help me out this week.
AND the best mother’s day gift…sympathy and concern from three sweet boys. They greeted me as I entered our home teetering on crutches. My eldest asked: “If it doesn’t heal will they cut off your leg?” My 2nd son stated how sorry he was this happened to me on Mother’s day. My 3rd son, the two-year-old simply hugged my leg.
It wasn’t “Facebook perfect”. It wasn’t glamorous. But my Mother’s day was filled with little joys. Nuggets to hold in this messy, crazy season.
On these holidays and birthdays when the world shouts to make it “all about you”, I find myself constantly disappointed. Expectations left unmet. God didn’t create Mother’s Day. He created mothers. Mothers to love, serve, nurture, encourage, and teach their children. It’s only when I put on my “God” glasses and look for Him in my day that I experience true and lasting joy.
**I did get my husband’s permission before writing this post. He apologized profusely for what he called, “his MAJOR daddy fail”…aka not making mommy breakfast. I think I’ve still got it pretty good.