Last Friday we met friends in Shenandoah National Park for a little rock climbing. Larkspur and the boys had a really great time. Beatrix is too little to climb and was not enthused with the situation. My stomach does funny things when my kids, or my friends’ kids for that matter, are on top of big rocks. I think that next time Silas, Beatrix, and I will stay home and leave this kind of fun to the big kids!
p.s. My sister and I had a good long talk today. She mentioned the fact that I must have had a perfect Mother’s Day, based on what she saw on the blog. I told her that I actually ended up in tears by the end of the day. “You know what, I really hate Mother’s Day, ” she confessed. I in turn confessed that I had a hard time focusing on the good parts of the day myself and wished we could just do away with it and all it’s commercialized high expectation inducing ….
Yes, it’s nice to have a day on which you can expect a little “special treatment.” I am so thankful to Jonny for taking the younger kids for a little while giving me a couple hours to actually do what I wanted without feeling guilty for not using that time to catch up on laundry or bathroom duty and I like that about Mother’s Day. But I don’t like the ugly way I felt when Beatrix crept into my room and woke Silas and me earlier than usual. I don’t like the sense of entitlement that crept over me. (“It’s Mother’s Day and I am supposed to be sleeping late!”) I sat up and went to the window with Silas where we saw Jonny and Larkspur in the garden picking flowers for me. He didn’t notice that Beatrix had gone in the house. I don’t like the yucky side of me that was annoyed with him when I should have been focused on the fact that he was picking me flowers first thing in the morning.
Sunday evening, I carried my camera with me to church. I thought Jonny might be able to get a picture of me with all the kids for Mother’s Day. Two of my kids were so uncooperative about the whole thing that I ended up in tears, feeling very sorry for myself. My hurt and angry words didn’t produce apologies. There was no, “I’m sorry that I hurt your feelings Mommy…let’s go get that picture now.” (I am totally laughing at the thought of one of my boys saying something like that!) I found myself hating Mother’s Day too.
My kids aren’t perfect and neither am I. That doesn’t change just because it’s Mother’s Day. Go figure.
The truth is that motherhood is a gift in and of itself, and not because of what I “get.” It’s a gift in the way it transforms me each day, into a person who recognizes when she is feeling a little too entitled, into a person who deep down knows that one of the greatest gifts is my opportunity to serve my family in this humble way. Having these children to love, that is enough. I’ll always be a fan of wildflowers in vases and handmade cards though.