Last night as I was lying in bed waiting for sleep to overcome my exhausted body, I experienced an enlightening epiphany. It began as contemplation over what I'd like to do for Mother's Day when it occurred to me that all this time we've been doing it wrong. Household matriarchs, the country over, each year bask in the breakfast-in-bed-and-flowers scenario each year as their children and partners try to express their gratitude for the mothers in their lives. I can't help but to think this is completely backward.
Maybe my house is a bit unusual in this way but for me, most days are "mother's day". I awake each and every morning surrounded by the little people who bring happiness and joy to my life. They gaze up at me through half open eyelids still heavy with sleep as a smile dances across their lips. They grunt and then wrap their little arms around me in a soft, heartfelt hug and say, "I love you, mommy." Even my husband never lets me forget how much I am loved.
Throughout the day my kids reveal life to me through their naive and innocent eyes - things that have long been forgotten since my own childhood. Just last weekend Damian picked me a grubby handful of Dandelions out of the lawn at park. As he handed me the fistful of dying weeds, he plucked one from the bunch and asked me to bend down. When I leaned forward, he took the fuzzy, yellow flower and tucked it behind my left ear. As I stood up, he looked me over and, with a nod of approval, said, "mom, you're beautiful."
I don't need Mother's Day for that. That day held more sentiment than any Mother's Day I've experienced to date. But what I realized last night as this reflection was playing through my mind is that Mother's Day isn't about being Queen-For-the-Day. I'm the queen in my house every day. Mother's Day is about the gratitude that overflows from my heart when I look into the eyes of my three year old and tell him I'm sorry for yelling at him and he says, "that's ok, mommy." Mother's Day is about looking into the beautiful, shining faces of my sweet babes and NOT taking for granted that they love me unconditionally. These amazing little people don't care about the countless screw-ups I've made in my life, they forgive me when I make a mommy mistake, they stroke my hair and caress my face when I'm sick or sad, and they think I'm beautiful even when I look like I've been hit by a Mack truck. These precious little lives that I've been so lucky to be surrounded with give me more than I could ever hope to give them. They make being a mom worth every peed bed, every snotty nose, every broken dish, every fight, and every "EEEWWW, we're having THAT for dinner?!"
I think that, as mothers, we get so caught up in the stress of work, dinner, laundry, school and fights that we sometimes forget to notice how truly amazing these little people are. So from now on Mother's Day in my house is not going to be a greedy, self-indulgent, matriarchal party where everyone caters to me. On the contrary, Mother's Day in my house will be about showing my kids how thankful I am that they've chosen me to be their mom.