Sunday, May 8, 2016

Getting Back to the Basics on Mother's Day

As I look at the young lady about to give birth in four weeks I think, "You have no idea how your life is going to change." None of us had any idea until the day it happened, the day we became mothers. There is no way you can understand the depth of emotion that surrounds the enormity of someone else's life being completely dependent on you. All of a sudden your most important job becomes being a teacher, making sure this new person feels safe, feels loved, knows how to love, and turns into a person with honor. What a huge responsibility but what an awesome responsibility, knowing that our actions, our feelings, and our morals are formulating what this little person is to become.

This little person watches every move we make, learning by examples that we set on how to be an adult. Yikes! How have I addressed the people I love lately? Has it been with compassion and empathy or with frustration and hatred. How have I reacted when stuck in that traffic jam or when the person in front of me in line is texting instead of paying attention? What about when this little person says, "Mama, look... " as I am in the middle of something I feel is more important. Have I dropped what I am doing to show them that they matter as much as getting my tasks done? What a huge responsibility but again, what an awesome one.

My parents have been living with us the last several months while looking for a house in Georgia. We see each other every day. I was surprised when friends invited my mom to spend a long weekend with them in Myrtle Beach and instead of packing her bags and getting the hell out of dodge, she thanked them and politely declined.

"Mom, you've been dying to go to the beach... Why not go and get a few days of fun in the sun?" I asked.

"You don't understand," she said. "You've been living away from me for 22 years."

"Well we are living together now, you see me every day," I said.

"I haven't gotten to spend a Mother's Day with my daughter in 22 years. That is more important to me than going to the beach," my mother said.

"Oh." I couldn't think of anything else to say. She was right, Mother's Day has a deeper meaning than just a card and flowers. Even when your children are adults they are still your children and you get to be proud of who they have become, the product of years of hard work and sacrifice. And even though as mothers we sacrifice time, money, sleep, friendships, our own thoughts, and sometimes our own sanity, I can't imagine a life any better than this, because this is the most important job I will ever have. And the most important thing we give and receive as mothers is LOVE. Happy Mother's Day, Mom and all mothers everywhere!
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