Ok, so I was pretty whiny and ungrateful in my last post. I realize that. But really, I felt a strong need to relate how I felt and to communicate that not all moms feel sunshine and roses on their “special day”.
There were some great positives to the experience, though. One that surprised me was that a number of unexpected people sent me text messages or gave me a shout-out on Facebook wishing me a Happy Mother’s Day. It’s almost like my “She’s having a crappy Mother’s Day” vibe stretched all the way to Dallas and even as far as California, to co-workers and former co-workers and people I haven’t seen in some time, to fellow beleaguered moms-of-teenagers and to people who have no children of their own. It was humbling that those people thought of me that day.
Then there was the older lady at church who recognized my drawn and stressed face. Who gave me a hug and wished me a Happy Mother’s Day. Who expressed no surprise that my day was not going well. You have three kids after all, she said. She hugged me and encouraged me and spoke in such a loving voice that I just held on for a little while. Her greeting was not perfunctory. She was watching and caring.
My kids didn’t really get me anything for Mother’s Day. Other than the excellent Key Lime Greek yogurt with the cookie crumbles that Jane and her Daddy got for me. That was very nice. And while she didn’t fix me breakfast in bed like one of her friends, she was still a step ahead of many of her peers for remembering the day without prompting and wishing me a happy one.
Daryl didn’t get me anything nor make me anything. (What in the world is wrong with the school system these days? No baby jar with multi-colored tissue paper glued to it and a votive candle inside? No macaroni necklace? No handprint flower? Nothing?) But what he did do was notice at one point that I was having a pretty sucky morning and then walk along beside me with his arm around my shoulders, telling me it was ok and he loved me. This tenderness was dear… even if it did draw attention to the fact that he was tall enough to get his arm comfortably around my shoulders, although not quite on the shoulders.
Then there was dear Hal, who dogged me all morning and into the afternoon to open the package he handed me at church. I was always too busy and I didn’t want to open it absentmindedly while hurrying off to something else. So when I called him to me after the recital and asked if I could open it now, his face beamed. And here’s what it was:
“That’s the rain falling,” he said, pointing to the blue circles. And I thought, how appropriate that the rain should be falling in my Mother’s Day picture.
“And see how tall it’s made the flower grow, Mommy?”
Indeed, my dear. The flower has grown quite tall. Now if only your Mommy can grow as much.