It will be my third Mother’s Day this year. I always felt like this was such a special day growing up, a day dedicated to honoring the woman I admired and aspired to be. She was never too strict with rules, but provided enough boundary and grace to give me the conscience to know better. Enduring the hormones of two adolescent girls that inevitably became two strong-willed teenagers and beyond, had to have been difficult at times, so why not spend a day honoring the woman who made our house a home, and kept us all in line.
Mother’s Day breakfast was the perfect way to start the day. When we were younger, my sister and I would have our Dad make a breakfast fit for a Queen! Eggs, bacon, pancakes… you name it, and it was probably on her tray waking her up that morning. She would always be so surprised with an over-emphasized “Thank you!!” for her special treat. Later we would make arts and crafts that almost always consisted of: a list titled “all the things I love about you,” a poorly drawn caricature of the family, and usually a sticker or two. Some of ‘said drawings’ are tucked away in a closet to this day. Before the day was over, we would undoubtedly find a buttercup or two and add them to a previously used vase to give to her. After all, women love flowers of all shapes and sizes (and even weed variety)! We wanted to make her feel like we noticed all the things she did for us on a daily basis, and were thankful for her selflessness.
But at a young age, it was impossible to truly understand what all our mother had done for us day-in and day-out. Motherhood requires great sacrifice of your time and resources for the betterment of your children and family. It’s choosing to allow your child to “help out” with a task, because they need to learn the importance of helping others, while also knowing a million other tasks come after this one, and you could get the job done faster alone. It’s sharing your food at every snack and meal, because mom’s food somehow tastes better than what you have sitting on your plate. It’s letting your arm go numb while holding your little one because they had a bad dream, and they need the comfort sometimes only mom can give.
My daughter brought me a tiny purple flower (of the weed variety) from the neighbor’s yard the other day and told me “Happy Mother’s Day, Mama! It’s for you!” in the most sincerest of 3-year-old voices. She doesn’t know what day it actually is, but she knows it’s coming and in that moment, she wanted to show she loved me and noticed me. Those small acts of kindness put wind in your sails to do it all over again tomorrow, and as a mother, it makes you hope and pray you’re doing something right.
If you think about it, there can be no great men and women without great mothers. Abraham Lincoln said, “All that I am or hope to be I owe to my angel mother.” Being a mother comes in all shapes and sizes, and we celebrate you all this Mother’s Day!
By Anna Bell