Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I awoke this morning to see my 7-year-old carrying a metal broiler tray with a bowl of soggy sugar puffs, water and a homemade card into my room. I have to admit that I really wanted to sleep more, but the sight of her smiling face urging me to dig into my breakfast was enough incentive to please her. I thought back to all of the years I snuck into the kitchen with my siblings to make breakfast for our parents. Our talents evolved from jelly toast and cereal to scrambled eggs and sausage and blueberry pancakes. I empathized now with my parents who were forced to choke down a full breakfast so early in the morning as we sat smiling on their bed.

Later in the morning, my husband and two daughters and I tromped to church to enjoy a Sunday school teacher appreciation breakfast. (More food!) My girls presented me with cement stepping stones decorated with shells and broken tiles, one saturated in hot pink craft sand and the other already losing its plastic beading.

But the highlight of my morning had to be when my girls stood up in front of the church and sang, "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," complete with hand motions. I felt myself get teary with the knowledge that they were my children. I was a mother. And even though my eldest sometimes suffers anxieties that give her facial tics and my 4-year-old is dragging around her 30th leg cast to correct a club foot, they are the most perfect children I could ever imagine.

Yes, I would step in front of a bus for my children if necessary. And yes, they drive me crazy. The bickering and messes and fighting for my attention throughout the day while I try to log 40 hours for my job AND keep the family in clean underwear — impossible. To say that mothers need patience is hardly sufficient to explain our plight.

But gosh golly, when I am fully present to the wonder of these two little human beings — one who states that her latest interest is ornithology and the other who claims that "I'm her favorite mommy," — well, nothing else seems to be all that important.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers out there. I don't care if you are mothers to your own children, to your pets or to the neighbor are the glue of the world. Okay, I need to head to the gym and work off my breakfast.