From the moment they are born…
Putting on her make up was noticeably different for her that morning as she prepared for a memorable “Mother’s Day.”
At the party that evening, we stood there talking about the latest accomplishments of our children. Also about the memorable moments our children create which seem to stop us in our tracks – and we just watch them. Or, moments when we laugh in amazement that something so profound could come from someone so little. Whatever the story worth telling may be – we pray that moment’s impression will forever live in our aging minds.
I, with younger children, shared stories of the noticeable interest my daughters have in reading. “My oldest insists on reading her chapter book before she goes to sleep,” I said. “And, there’s nothing better than seeing the younger one excitedly pick the book of the evening.” Conversations like that are often balanced with stories of being so tired having to continue to serve the little ones. The stories of what you wouldn’t give for just a few moments to yourself.
“A few moments alone,” my sister says, “to put on my make up.”
That evening we gathered to say farewell (for now) to my nephew. Once a cute little ring-bearer in my wedding. Now a future Marine off to boot camp. At the party, we all shared stories about being pulled in many directions. My sister mirrored my sentiment remembering years ago her attempts to put on her make up while being tugged by that little boy for just one more thing he needed from mommy. At that time, it seemed she would never get through her morning routine without some type of interruption – but she wouldn’t trade those little tugs for the world .
This morning, the physical tug wasn’t there. Rather, an emotional tug was present. She was alone. She had time to complete her make up. For years she may have wished at times she could finish without any distractions. Now that she had that luxury, she wasn’t prepared for the emotional distraction of a sense of absence. That night as she watched her son say farewell to childhood friends, she thought what she wouldn’t do to have just one more ‘tug’ from that little boy. One more request for a glass of milk. One more baseball game to which to drive him. One more bad dream to interrupt her much needed slumber.
While she knows her parenting does not end here, it shifts. One more adventure in mothering. It’s another part of the job – her blessing from God – as it shifts to an even more constant state of worry about this safety.
Whatever the stage, she loves her job. She continues to do it well for her soon-to-be Marine and her younger child. Her little boy has grown into a young man. She was proud. Thankful for the blessing of her children. The blessing to be included in this group of human beings known as Moms. This Mothers’ Day is a bit more memorable. A bit more satisfying. A bit uneasy.
This post is to honor those with the most important job. The most challenging. The hardest. The most satisfying. As a father, I constantly wonder if I’m doing it right. And, while I sometimes think I’d rather be at home with the children (rather than go to work), I can honestly say I would not do as good of a job as does the mother of my children. My bride.
To my mom for her sacrifices and love. To my sister for her next stage in parenting. And to my bride for keeping it all together and the constant balancing act. Happy Mother’s Day.
And to the future Marine for whom the love of a Mother has served, and will continue to serve, him well. God speed.