Since I’ve become a Mom, I’ve thanked my mother for all the unseen sacrifices and her unending love, support, guidance and cheer leading throughout my life. I’ve apologized to my Mom for my fresh back talk, for saying hurtful things in angry bouts and for taking her for granted.
My Mom was and is always there for me. When I got home from school after holding in tears all day, when I had a teen drama at the dance and couldn’t wait to be home, when my babies were born and I needed mothering, when I need advice on how to manage these slippery night sweats that have crept into my life.
With my kiddos, I’m still in the active parenting stage and not yet at the best friend phase. Though, I recently realized with shock that we are on “the flip side.” We have fewer years left with kids in our house than years we’ve had kids in our house. Our children are part of us, entrusted to us to love, nurture, teach and cherish and it feels like not enough time left with them in our home. (Okay, yes, I know they often come back, but we’re brainwashing them with the expectation of getting a job and their own apartment after college, I’ll let you know how that goes.)
So with the years I have left, I am going to savor my Mother’s Days filled with homemade cards bursting with pure, vivid love. I’m going to treasure snuggling toe to toe under a blanket reading our books together. I’m going to grab on and hold tight to those precious moments that come unexpectedly, the glimpses into our children’s spirits and hidden thoughts, the sharing about an interaction at school, the admission of a fear.
I’m going to slow down the minutes and enjoy being their Mom. Not just on Sunday, but every day.
When I unwrap those perfect, sweet gifts swathed in tissue paper, the child who made it hovering expectantly beside me, grinning widely, I’m going to feel the perfect, unconditional love that seeps out.
Children want so much to give us something. They want to please us and present some outward expression of their love for us. They love us so much, it’s such a part of who they are and the breath they breathe. Those simple handcrafted gifts, the flower picked with a too-short stem, the poem they wrote, all represent such an incredible depth of love. I’m going to bask in that love, handle it with care, notice all that is within it.
We are raising future Moms and Dads. Setting an example and modeling the way for them in every moment. I remember the excited anticipation of offering a gift I had made for my Mom or Dad. Now I receive those gifts of joyful love from my babies as I raise them to one day accept the gifts of authentic, perfect love from their children.
Happy Mother’s Day!
© Copyright Leah DeCesare 2013
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