This is a holiday I have such mixed feelings about.
On the one hand, it festers deep in my soul. A lot of times, I feel like a "fake" mom. I didn't give birth to my kids. I didn't adopt them. They're not even fosters. "Children of my heart" sometimes seems like a catch-phrase that allows me to horn in a holiday I shouldn't have...no matter how true that phrase is. There's nothing worse than being honored for something and, at the same time, feeling like a fraud. (Yes, I'm well aware that I'm legit. Feelings aren't bound by logic.) So, sometimes Mother's Day makes me feel a little squirrelly.
On the other, I feel delight that goes clear down through my toes. I love being mom to my three girls, and I love their unabashed expressions of love that come with Mother's Day. This year, I got a tissue paper flower from Large Fry, which she made at school; two plastic plates lovingly and enthusiastically decorated for me by each twin, with "About My Mom" books they'd written in, also done at school; a styrofoam cup and gold glittery pipecleaner trophy that Large Fry made in Sunday School; and two small potted begonias that the twins picked out for me, along with big cards made in Sunday School. And, of course, my mom made me a card, and I got a card from Hubby and one from the Fries. No jewelry. No expensive gift. But what I got were priceless things, made by my children, and nothing you could find at the jewelry counter at Kohl's would be better than the gifts my girls made for me.
This year was special, because I had both my mom and my mother-in-law with me for Mother's Day. That doesn't usually happen. I do not have mother-in-law issues. (I was smart, and prayed for good in-laws, and God chose to answer that prayer with a big ol' YES.)
Mom and Dad chose to come out for church at PSC for Mother's Day, so the whole bunch of us, plus Ultimate Babysitter (one of our youth group teens; she babysits for us and the girls love her), crowded into a pew. Well, except for Hubby, since his dual role as pastor of both youth and worship ministries means he's on the platform for the first half of the service or so.
I was sitting on the end of the pew, with my mother-in-law on my right and my dad on my left. To Dad's left was Small Fry, who was happily sitting between both Gramma and Poppa.
Hubby and PeeJay wanted to find a nice way to honor moms, and so, during the first half of the service, they showed this video:
As we walked outside to the cars after church, I strolled alongside Dad, who told me that he'd observed a couple of things during the video.
First, Small Fry and I had connected gazes right at the time the narrator spoke of how moms rubbing their kids' backs makes them feel safe. She grinned impishly at me, I know, and I smiled back in return. I do that a lot when they come up to me and want a hug or a snuggle, just gently stroke my hand up and down a few times. Or when they're sick. Or when they're crying and hurting. The look on Small's face, while impish, also communicated quite obviously—to both me and Dad, apparently—I know that's why you do that, Mommy, and I like it.
Second, which I didn't know about, was at the end of the video, probably right around where the narrator paraphrases Proverbs 31. Small looked directly at me again. I was still looking at the screen, and thinking about my moms who were there with me, and about my kids. Dad said it was once again obvious on Small's face that she knew I was the one who did all the stuff mentioned in the video, and I did it for them. And that it was clear she knew I was really Mom. "It was so precious," Dad said.
And I missed it!
I kinda want to kick myself for that, but then, Dad saw. And he told me.
And I have it here, so that I can go back and remind myself...my girls know how much I love them, and they know I'm their mom.
That is a gift beyond compare.