Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day, and Every Day

I hope all of the mothers out there had a lovely Mother's Day, as well as all of you mother-figures, those kind souls not bound by blood who take the time to be a force of love and support to us when we need it. And even when we don't need it. Thank you especially for being there when we don't think we need you but we really do. I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by these types. I have a mother, a stepmother, a mother-in-law (despite my divorce, she is amazing and I am keeping her), as well as a variety of women I have collected over the years who are my back-up moms. They are my cheerleaders and my emotional supports and they have helped guide me into the mother I am today. Thank you, every single one of you, for all that you have brought to my life.

My Mother's Day started before 7am with two giggling little girls throwing my bedroom door open and flipping on my light. (Note for next year, ask them to let me sleep in on Mother's Day.) They came in with huge smiles, carrying a bowl of granola and a glass of milk. It was the first time they'd ever brought me breakfast in bed, and they were so proud. They returned a few moments later with homemade school projects: a potholder with my 7-year-old's hand print on it, a watercolor painted card from my 9-year-old. They disappeared and returned with love notes, poems, a cluster of flowers cut from paper cups with pipe cleaner stems. The dog jumped around on the bed, confused about all of the excitement and wanting to be a part of it. The love kept flowing until my bed was covered in notes and gifts and each round of visits came with more hugs and kisses. Eventually they asked, "Should we stop now?" I hugged them, thanked them, told them they'd done plenty and could go play.

After spending a few hours with my daughters, my step-mother came over, graciously giving up a couple hours of her own Mother's Day to watch my girls so I could get some time to myself. I headed out to write, my favorite hobby, my new career, my best escape, and quality "me" time. A nice gentleman there bought me (and about 20 other people) coffee. It had nothing to do with it being Mother's Day, and everything to do with a big-hearted person wanting to add some more positive energy to the world. I sat down to write, feeling loved and happy.

Toward the end of my writing break, I received a message from a woman I'd known for several years, but hadn't kept in touch with beyond the casual Facebook glimpse into each other's lives and occasional run-in at the grocery store. I actually bought my daughter's crib from her seven years ago. She'd seen a post about me publishing my first novel, and had looked through my Facebook page and blog to catch up with the changes in my life, and saw that not only had I launched a new career, but was also now a single mom. In her message she said: "While we don't know each other well, I am inspired by your strength and your grace." She not only brought me to tears, but she instantly added herself to my list of amazing women who take the time to support others. The kind of women we need more of. The kind of woman I aspire to be.

The rest of the day was typical, busy and fun: the girls had horseback riding lessons, we had popsicles in the back yard, dinner on the deck. They even let me take a little nap, and when I got up they hadn't destroyed the house (a miracle), but they were playing aliens, so they'd completely covered their faces in green and gray makeup. Off to the shower they went!

It was a perfect Mother's Day, full of love and cuddles, of moments just for me and time spent with my daughters, of laughter, wonder, some tears of gratitude. The kind of day that reminds me not just what it means to be a mother, but that there's so much in my life beyond motherhood to love and appreciate. I hope all of us, mothers or not, had that kind of day yesterday. I hope we have that kind of day today, tomorrow, and every day. I hope all of you who have taken the time to be a part of my life, big or small, know that I value those connections, and that your kindnesses have not gone unnoticed. Thank you, with all that I have, for simply being you.

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