My mother had seven children. SEVEN whole children grew in that precious woman's belly and became seven whole children that needed her all day every day until...well I still need her all day every day but in less of a change my poop pants and more of a HOW ON EARTH DID YOU DO THIS kind of way. Ok lets be honest, perhaps recently there are some days where poop is in my pants. ;0) I always tell people (mostly those itching to get out of the house and become "adults") that I didn't find true appreciation for my mom until I moved a thousand miles away for college. It was then I figured out that she did a lot of freaking stuff for me! And then of course when I became a mom for the first time we could exchange stories of the usual first mom concerns and laugh it up but I'll tell you...crap just got real when I became a mother of five over night. Like so real that daily I'm reminded how much more she did for me than was even humanly possible. I know I said thank you but Lord knows I didn't say it enough because the fact of the matter is if I said thank you every single time that saint of a woman did something for me I'd have said it to her about 25 times a DAY at least. This role? It's huge. And quite frankly? It's thankless most days...in fact there are times where I even ask for thanks. I am almost ashamed at myself for what I imagine was the same behavior I exhibited as a child that my own children do when I place their HOME COOKED meal in front of them and at least one complains that I put five pieces of sausage on someone else's plate and only four on theirs. For the love. How did they know I show favoritism with sausage quantity?! I digress...with us specifically we aren't teaching this masterful art form of being grateful to children we've had since birth, we're teaching it to children who haven't been taught it consistently if at all and that my friends, is hard. Onward and upward, we'll get it figured out and a rhythm will happen...and just like my last post there will be moments where the thank you's are organic and the appreciation is expressed in others ways too.
This morning, I called my precious mother on the phone and was only able to utter five words before bursting into tears. "I just want to say"...thank you. Thank you for the late night runs to the store to get an item for a project I told you about at the last second. Thank you for making me food every live long day. Thank you for staying up late to switch the laundry so I could wear something special to school the next day. Thank you for being funny and letting me see you be funny. Thank you for wiping my butt and for teaching me to not pee and poop my pants and for cleaning up my puke. Thank you for doing my laundry and picking up a toy I left out on the floor that the dog probably would have eaten that you warned me about leaving out ten times. Thank you for being there. For showing me what it looks like to take care of a home and a family, for teaching me how to cook, and for trusting me when I deserved to be trusted. Thank you freezing my juice boxes so that at lunch when it came time to drink it was still cold. Mama, thank you so much for praying for me especially now. The beauty of the similarities we share as "mother" don't have a single thing to do with HOW we came into that role in the first place. Babies in bellies, baby pick ups in conference rooms or airports. She gets it. She gets my exhaustion and my despair. She gets my complaints and she takes it all in and just assures me that there is pay off eventually, with phone calls just like the one we were having in fact. My mother was and is still superwoman, I am convinced of nothing less. So if you're mother is still living, or if you were raised by someone who filled this role in your life, please call her. Thank her for changing your life by simply taking care of you. She deserves to hear it, and she deserves to hear it a lot. And if for some horrible reason your mother was the furthest thing from the woman I described above, please know...there is redemption in a changed path. Commit to do and act opposite of the woman who played no real part in showing you these values. There is real beauty in the choice of making that promise to yourself. YOU deserve it. Undoubtedly.