After sharing about my worst Mother’s Day ever I promised to share my best Mother’s Day, too. But, I’m thinking that my best Mother’s Day is probably not very different from any other mom – (these days) it’s filled with breakfast in bed, balloons, gifts, yada, yada, yada – you get the point. I’d much rather share my fondest Mother’s day memory. That will be unique!
So, here goes. . .
I remember receiving a letter from my oldest daughter, Ashley. I was a teen mom when I had her – the one I made all my parenting mistakes on, right?) I call her my Ash-Cat-Kitty-Kitty-Meow-Mix (don’t ask!).
She was newly married at the time and lived in another country. In her letter, she wrote amazing things. She wrote that I was a good mom and wife. She wrote that she doesn’t know how I do what I do every day – because it’s hard, super hard. She wrote that managing a home is super challenging and that I did it really well. She said that being responsible for someone else (like her husband) and taking care of them – everyday! – is tough; and the fact that I did it for her dad and six kids all of those years is mind blowing.
She was a new wife – out of her parents’ nest – facing the realities of doing “home and family” and was moved to the point of writing me about it.
Her words of affirmation swept over me and undid a lifetime of parental insecurity.
She had affirmed me. HOT DANG!
As I read her letter I heard the Hallelujah Chorus singing up in heaven. I went weak in the knees and could hardly contain my emotions.
What a shocker! After parenting for 25 years I was affirmed – in this very unique manner – and it meant everything! After all the years of her kicking and screaming and challenging her dad and I – I couldn’t believe it!
Don’t think that she was a terrible kid – far from it. But she was a kid; and kids have a natural tendency to make us as parents feel that were screwing them up and that we’re making a larger-than-life, colossal mess of everything.
Maybe it’s not a kid driven emotion? Maybe feeling that way is simply, yet painfully, a natural byproduct of parenting? I don’t have all the answers. I just know that doubt and insecurity come with the parenting package – and you sometimes don’t figure out until many years later that you did some stuff incredibly right or terribly wrong. But GRACE!
Yes, our kids may affirm us daily by telling us that they love us, and every so often tangibly demonstrate their love, and it may really make an impression upon us as parents. But please, BRACE YOURSELF for the first time they ever say:
∼ How’d you do it mom?
∼ I never knew it was this hard.
∼ I have so much admiration and respect for you.
∼ I hope to do as good a job as you’ve done one day.
IT WILL MAKE YOUR HEART SKIP A BEAT! (That is, after they resuscitate you!)
So, there you have it – (one of) my fondest mother’s memories.
Have a blessed Mother’s Day, everyone!
This song by Cynthia Clawson is a reminder of how precious a mother’s faith is – especially to her children. Let it be a reminder to us as moms of what is really important as we raise our kids. Enjoy!