It’s funny… I was searching through stacks of photos trying to find ones of my mom and me to put into this post. I wanted to be able to show you in pictures why she should be celebrated this Mother’s Day… and in all of those stacks of photographs I was only able to find a meager few where I could crop just the two of us together.
And that so perfectly sums up being a Mom, doesn’t it? She was the one taking the photos. She was the one who tended to the scraped knees and the hurt feelings and the moments when no one but a Mom could make things better.
She’s the one who cooked the meals to nourish our bodies. She’s the one who made fancy after-school snacks in the pretty dishes to nourish our spirits. She’s the one who snuggled with us in the chair at night before bed to nourish our hearts.
She’s the one who made the birthday cakes and planned the parties and shopped for the presents. Every year on Christmas Eve Dad would walk in the door at 5pm from doing chores and ask her, “Now, do we have enough presents for everyone?” Mom’s the one who reassured him that, yes… she had thought of all six of the children before the Christmas Eve deadline. She’s the one who organized the events and holidays where I was photographed with other people. She’s the Mom.
When I was little, I was literally attached to my Mom’s hip. If she went to town for coffee with friends, I went too. If she was making beds, I was getting in her way. If she was baking a cake, I was licking the beaters. Which is why I am the only one of the six kids who was sent to preschool. They were nervous that if I didn’t start something before kindergarten I’d never want to leave her side.
I remember walking down the hall into Ms. Hollitz’ room. There was a little boy at the end of the hall who was crying and refusing to walk through the door. Mom leaned down and said to me, “That poor little boy is scared. It’s a good thing you’re a big enough girl to be able to do this and know I’ll be back.”
Smart move. Because I remember thinking that the little boy had the right idea. But every day Mom would drop me off at preschool and reassure me what time she would be there to pick me up… and she promised she would go straight home and not have coffee with friends or do anything that I would possibly be missing out on. Of course, Mom was a good liar about the coffee, but she was always waiting there in the parking lot right when she said she would be. Because that’s what Mom’s do. They show up when it counts.
A friend on Twitter was recently asking for examples of things our Moms taught us so that he could put them in his Mother’s Day sermon. I told him that my Mom always told us that any work that’s honest is honorable. She told me when I went to school that if I waited for people to come be my friend I would be lonely… I should go be their friend. And most importantly, she prayed for us.
She didn’t just pray for us, but she prayed every night for the people we would someday marry. She prayed that, just as we were being raised with love, our future spouses were also being loved and were making good decisions. Decisions that would prepare them to be good to her children.
I have joked that she may have wasted a few good years of prayer on my spouse since I seem destined to be eternally single, but when I look around at the people who have blessed my life, I know her prayers were heard. Not for my spouse, but for my friends who have chosen to walk through this life with me… I think her prayers were really for them. And I’m so grateful she loved me enough when I was little to think ahead to my adult life.
But she’s the Mom. That’s what Mom’s do.
And I love you for all of it. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.