I don’t make a production out of “special” days, which may be bad news for you if you are my husband or one of my children or someone expecting a blow-out Christmas gift, but the upside of this character flaw is that I’m fairly low maintenance when it comes to celebrating my own “special” days. I can recall my mother saying, “Do you know what I want for Mother’s Day? I want everyone to fix their own lunches,” or “I want you kids to stop fighting and just get along for one day”. She made similar requests on other special occasions but we never took that tiny-timism seriously. I have a few years still to convince my kids that a day off from being their referee or their lunch-lady would be spectacular.
So, Mother’s Day was lovely with a 5-star breakfast thought-up by my eldest, planned by my 5-star husband, executed with help from the girls, and enjoyed by all. The most amazing thing was that Clif cleaned up the kitchen and was on his way to the library by 8 am! If I could bottle that kind of efficiency…
I am so thankful for this family and these kids who call me “mom”, “mommy”, and “mama” that I want to attempt to explain why this crazy life is the perfect one. Here are the top ten things I love most about being a Mom.
1. The supreme eminence of mothering over any other responsibility or desire. For example, Mother’s Day is now almost a week in the past and this blog hasn’t been updated in months but are any of my friends and family going to complain? Absolutely not! Aside from being a great excuse, I love being a mother because I never doubt how important my job is.
2.Singing with my kids. You probably don’t realize that we do (sing) because we sing mostly around the house and in the car although Alliene has been requesting the Doxology in public places lately (grocery store, on our way across the school parking lot) so that she can practice along with me. Thomas’ favorite is “hey-ho!” and he’s very good at the “ho!”. I opened the car door to take him out the other day and said, “hey!” (as in the greeting) and he shouted back at me, “HO!”. NR loves to sing everything. When she was three, I made this video of her singing her favorite song “Look Away” by Chicago.
4. Rethinking things I thought I understood. For example, a conversation with Alliene on Monday: “When is Ryder going to CIS, Mommy? Tomorrow?” “No, Alliene, he’s going to start school there next year.” “So, after tomorrow?”. See what I mean? Trying to see these things through their eyes can be mind-blowing. I had a conversation with Nora Ruth one time about a classmate who was being mean and one consolation that I offered was that her friend was still learning to use “manners” (a good, southern concept). And NR wondered when her friend would acquire a sufficient grasp of manners to which I said offhandedly that some people never learned nice manners. WELL. I will never forget the surprise in her voice at the inconceivability that there are adults in the world who are lacking in manners. Makes you want to shine yours up, doesn’t it?
5. Being friends with women like these who are prepared to carry Mother’s Day past 8 am. Women who come to the beach with snacks and kid-friends, who know how to staunch a gushing head wound with a spare diaper and who back me up whole-heartedly when I say, “Back up kids! This is the Mommies’ sandcastle. Go build your own.”
6. Learning to take things in stride. I can get a little too focused sometimes and having kids helps me to roll with the punches. The result is that life is more fun. Husband wants to go to medical school? Go for it. Move us all to an island? Why not! An expensive island in the Caribbean? If worse comes to worst we can live on the beach like gypsies. Fly home by myself with all three kids? Someone’s got to do it. Little man wasn’t wearing a swim diaper and took a poop in the pool? Okay, I have my limits.
7. I love watching my kids be daring. Lately its been pier-jumping but there’s also been water-sliding, diving and flips in the pool, bike-riding, tree-climbing, kissing sting-rays, body-surfing, and sailing. It makes my heart smile to watch them being brave.
9.Reading to my kids. Read Aloud was something I loved most about teaching and the time I spend reading to my own kids is so precious to me. They love being read to and even my littlest will rumble over and hunker down in my lap if I pull out one of his books about trains or Daddy Hugs. Nora Ruth and I are reading The Borrowers and Alliene really enjoys Mercy Watson.
10. Watching Clif be a dad. Because he does stuff like this: