Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mother's Day 2008

This mom of two toddlers was really looking forward to the day.

 It was going to be perfect. 

The previous year (on Mother's Day) I was in a new home, Mike was to follow in a week or so.  I took a test that morning and learned that we were going to have another baby.  It was a happy day, even though Mike wasn't there, the news was enough to make it enjoyable.

But this year.  This year, with two in diapers and only one sleeping through the night, I'd really earned it.  It was going to be glorious.  I was as excited as a teacher on Friday. 

Sunday morning I woke to the normal sounds of children's cries.  I wait a few moments for the sirens to alert my husband that it was time to get up. 

I keep waiting.

I nudge him and wait some more.

"Mike.  The baby's crying."

Mike groans.

I nudge him again.

"what?" he asks in a sleepy voice.

"The baby is crying.  It's Mother's day.  Go get him."  And we're off to a not-so-good start.

He's just sleepy, in a moment he will come to and be dashing around that kitchen whipping up something amazing for my breakfast.  I sigh as I snuggle up to my pillow once again.  "This is the life.  Even if it's just for one day.  But by golly I had this day coming."

I must have dozed off again, cause I wake up in a few minutes to Mike's voice: "Um.  Want me to make breakfast or something?"

"Yes." was all I said.  I sounded a bit annoyed.  Can't remember if that was on purpose --who am I kidding, it was.

He made breakfast.  Eggs and toast.  There wasn't any bacon.  I hadn't bought any.  I'm not sure where I expected him to get the ingredients for this gourmet breakfast I was envisioning. 

and... there was no card.

I didn't speak much as I helped dress the kids for church.  This wasn't what I had planned and hopefully my silence would convey that to him:  "Mama's not happy."

There was nothing different about this day than any other day. 

All I wanted was to not have to be a mom for the day.

We arrive at church after a long quiet car ride.

We walk in and drop the kids off at their classes as usual.  In the hallway stood my good friend Anissa.  I faked a smile and told her "Hi."  She started talking to me and as our conversations go, we didn't chatter on about surface things.  This was her first mother's day since losing a child.  Six months earlier she delivered a stillborn. 

She tells me about a man in our church who for the last --I don't know how many years, on Mother's Day has come to church with a handful of flowers.  He would hand them out to the women who had taken care of or taught his boys to the women who served as "mothers" to his sons.  He was raising 5 boys alone.  His wife had passed away after a battle with cancer.  He would hand out the flowers, smile and say "Happy Mother's Day" to each woman.

I swallowed the lump in my throat.

Anissa went on to say how that had touched her so much.  It put things into perspective.  She told me that on this day, she was thankful for the chance to get to be a mom.  No doubt she was thinking of sweet little Lia, the daughter she didn't get to raise. 

Wasn't the gift of a child enough?  Why did I feel I should ask for more? 

Anissa twirled the carnation in her fingers as she spoke.  "Walt no longer has his wife with him.  Yet he honors so many mothers every year.  Me, I don't want a day off.  I don't want a bunch of presents.  Today I just want to be a good mom.  That's all.  I just want to be a good mom." 

I looked her in the eye, swallowed again and nodded.  The conversation ended shortly, we both had places we needed to be.

I walked away with a new perspective.

I had been given a couple babies to raise.  I wanted recognition.  Anissa had been given a couple babies to raise.   She wanted to do her job well.

I know mother's day can be a sensitive time. There are those who couldn't have babies, or didn't. Those who lost babies or have lost grown children.  This isn't about me or about you.  It's about all of us.

All of us have been created to do work --some sort of work.

And when we do it, we need to ask ourselves:  "Am I seeking recognition?  Or "Do I simply want to be found faithful in the work God has set before us?"

I hope I will remember that it's not about me.  I work for a great boss.  My goal should be the words: 

"Well done, my good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.  Enter into the joy of your master."

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