Naturally, today also brings reflection on my mom, who I miss dearly, and my own life as a mother. I think about the ups and downs I’ve had (just in this past week) and how she would have helped me though this time. I know she knows my days and nights, my fears and worries, my heart songs and exaltations, but I would love to have her wisdom, her words, her touch, her strength. Those are Mother’s Day gifts I would have loved to receive this quiet, slow Sunday morning.
As today approached, the boys and Richard asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day. For me, that is a very hard question to answer. I know we need a new trash can in the kitchen, but ugh…is that what I REALLY want on this special day? No.
What I’d really like are things that can’t be bought, given or even willed into being. But these will forever be the gifts of Mother’s Day I long for.
I want my children, all five of them, to be safe. I pray for this every single night as I lay in bed waiting for sleep to come. I worry about things like drugs, slick roads on rainy nights, wars on foreign lands that take my boys away, cancer growing silently, and all those other scary monsters that hide under the bed, and in my head, in the middle of the night.
I want my children to be successful, but on their terms and in a way that makes the world a better place. I believe our kids all have gifts to share and I want them to find those and use them to make their days, and ours, always a little better.
I want my children to be healthy. We try to instill good lifestyle choices, but we know the temptations of the world. I want them to see their bodies as temples, vessels of the amazing and brilliant humans that they are, and to respect that with a reverence that will endure. I pray that disease stays away forever or as long as possible. My children, and yours, deserve to be on this good Earth, turning their faces to the sun and breathing in life, for as long as possible.
I want my children to know themselves, know their true and inner calling and have the courage to follow it. And I want to have a trust and peace within me once they do. I fear that some of their truths will take them far, far away from me into lives that are full of danger (see above) and I pray for the courage to accept their right to live their lives as they see it.
I want my children to love themselves with a love that is rooted in the knowledge of how incredibly adored they are by their parents, all of us. The combined love our children receive is deep and wide and flows with a force that is unstoppable. If they could know this and believe it, I think it would help them stay on a path in life that is right and good. And all this love they have and live, I want them to take it and share it with others, always.
Lastly, I want my children to know, if ever I am not here to tell them, how profoundly they have changed my life. The forever impact they have made on my heart and my soul is irreversible and irreplaceable. The love I feel for them is all encompassing. It washes over me, surging and pulsing, daily, hourly, minute by minute. There is not a time when I am not wanting for them all of the things I’ve mentioned above, not a day when I am not hoping for their best, rooting for them, praying for their well being and safety and dreaming of days that are full of joy, happiness, and love for them.
Motherhood was a lifelong dream, something I knew I always wanted. And I have been blessed with Mother’s Day gifts three times and then twice more with boys (who knew?) on the day each one of they entered my life. And they have forced me, encouraged me, and inspired me to become a better person. On this Mother’s Day, I hope that, in the end, they will be able to say the same about me.