“Are you sure you really want me to be there?”
The answer was a resounding YES back to my mom who asked me the night before I delivered my first baby if I was sure I wanted her to be in the delivery room with me. I appreciated her sensitivity for not wanting to intrude on such a sacred moment for my husband and myself but there are just those things in life that, no matter how you get…you just want your mom. And I wanted her there….without a question.
“One more push…you can do this!”
….and then I heard it.
MY baby’s cry.
They laid her on my chest and I don’t think there are many other moments in this life that feel like being closer to heaven than when you hold your baby for the first time. Their warm little squishy body, all gooey and swollen from their journey into the world pressed against your heart is unlike anything else you can experience.
I looked across the room and saw my own mom, wiping the tears from her face as she witnessed HER baby holding a baby of her own. She knew exactly what I was feeling in that moment. She knew the pain I had felt and wanted to take it away. She knew the joy of the moment and how it fulfilled everything her heart had ever desired for me. That’s the mothers love. Sacrificial for the hard moments, celebratory through the happy moments and unwavering love through it all.
I’ve heard it said many times that you don’t really appreciate the fullness of your own mother until you become one yourself. We can’t understand the magnitude of sacrifice it requires to care for another soul so selflessly and depth of love you feel until we are living and breathing it ourselves.
Mothering can often feel messy and mundane. Tiring and thankless. Exhausting yet euphoric. We would do anything (and I mean anything) for those little lives walking around us, all the while expecting nothing in return. And thats the beauty of a mother’s heart. No matter how many meals she makes, how many tears she wipes. how many hugs she gives…regardless if thankfulness is expressed, she still gives.
and gives some more.
Pouring out her life for those she loves comes without any training or preparation that is fully fueled by the love she has for her children.
So for this mother’s day…I want to say “thank you” for all the times I forgot or didn’t realize I needed to.
Thank you for physically carrying me, both inside your body and out, when I wasn’t able to walk yet. I now realize how hard it can be to carry a toddler, a baby, a diaper bag, groceries and whatever else you have to pile on you to get inside the house.
Thank you for changing 8,000 of my diapers and cleaning the endless crumbs and food off the floor that I threw on the ground during dinner. I know you worked really hard to prepare food for us and I’m grateful for that.
Thank you for letting me be a kid and enjoy actually “living” in our house by having my toys all over the place. You knew it was just for a season.
Thank you for waking up with me in the middle of the night when I had a bad dream…or I just missed you. I now understand how precious your sleep was so I’m really thankful you chose to love me even at the 3 AM hour ;)
Thank you for giving me baths, washing my hair, brushing my teeth and helping me get dressed for so many years. The end of the day is exhausting for a mom and I appreciate that you took the time to meet my needs in those ways.
Thank you for not losing your mind on me when I was an irrational and unruly toddler making ridiculous demands and requests. I probably deserved any ounce of disciplinary measures I reaped from my actions and still you remained patient and kind.
Thank you for teaching me to tie my shoes. It would have been easier just to do it for me forever but you took the time and patiently worked with me.
Thank you for the thousands of loads of laundry you did over the years. Laundry isn’t fun but I never heard you complain or ask someone else to do it.
Thank you for walking me into my kindergarten class and helping me feel brave…even though I’m sure you were just as nervous as me. It never showed.
Thank you for helping me prepare for my 3rd grade multiplication test by setting the timer over and over until I had them mastered. I’m sure you would have loved to be doing something else at the end of a long day at work but you chose me over your own agenda.
Thank you for ensuring I had the perfect dress for my oral reading competition and rehearsing it with me until it was perfect (I think I can still recite it today!)
Thank you (and dad!) for putting braces on my teeth. You could have taken a nice vacation with the money spent on all of your kid’s orthodontic treatments.
Thank you for loving me through the difficult middle school (and high school) years when kids can be cruel and friendships fizzle. I’m sure it hurt you just as much as it hurt me to see me struggle.
Thank you for letting me spread my wings and grow during my college years. You let me get on a plane to spend a summer in Spain without knowing anyone (and then to Africa the next summer) and I’m sure you were worried sick but you trusted me and probably spent every night on your knees praying for me.
Thank you for all the behind the scenes tasks you did on my wedding day. You probably missed some special moments (and a lot of sleep!) to ensure that everything went perfectly.
Thank you for loving my children unconditionally, just like you did me. Hopefully one day they will realized just how lucky they are to call you their Honey.
To all the mom’s out there who now realize just how special their own mother is to them…be sure to say thank you for the little things you may have forgotten to say over the years. It’s just words but coming from you…it means everything.
Happy Mother’s Day.