For years, I had a favorite Mother’s Day memory. (Which is saying a lot, because after several failed attempts with adoption agencies, Mother’s Day was just one more reminder of what I couldn’t have.)
We were at church. I didn’t really want to be around all those cheerful moms with hips full of toddlers. But we had responsibilities.
Our church actually did a great job of recognizing all women for the role they have in the lives of children. Still, I was at a breaking point. I stood in the auditorium aisle, my path to the bathroom blocked by a large family. All I wanted was to escape and let the tears fall.
Before I could push through the group, I heard my name. Turning, I saw my friend’s young son tearing toward me, pudgy little legs pumping. He leapt into my arms as I knelt to catch him. Throwing himself against me, he buried his face in my hair and said, “Happy Mother’s Day!”
Struggling with my emotions, I hung on tight as people washed past us. He held me just as tight.
I don’t know how he knew, but that little boy saved my Mother’s Day.
I *had* a favorite memory.
This year trumps that day, by far.
For the first time, the kids spontaneously created artwork. I came downstairs to find our son clearing off the kitchen table. (Who is this child?) After church, we went to my favorite restaurant, then to a national park. The kids SMILED for pictures. Both of them. At the same time.
Our daughter walked beside me on the trail, her arm around my waist, mine draped across her shoulders.
Our son said, “you’re the best mom in the world.” This is a kid who’s lived with seven families…I feel like he’s sort of an expert on moms. Pretty much one of the most amazing moments of my life.
We have some pretty tough days with these kids, dealing with PTSD, RAD, ADHD and general behavior craziness. But today was absolute beauty. I’m so thankful for this new favorite memory. And so thankful to Hubby for orchestrating everything.
Today, truly, is a happy Mother’s Day.
For many years, Mother’s Day was…not the worst day of the year, but close.
Everywhere I turned, mothers rejoiced with the young darlings surrounding them. I didn’t understand why, with such a strong desire to be a good mama, children of my own always seemed to be just out of reach.
Looking back, it’s obvious to me that every step of our journey was directed by an unseen Hand, but as we went through the ten years before our kids arrived, I didn’t always feel it. Hope and trust kept me going most of the time, but Mother’s Day made faith a bit more difficult. Ten years is a long time.
Of course, in the Bible story, Abraham and Sarah were close to 100 when their first son arrived. In comparison, I guess ten years was a light sentence.
Several years ago, I experienced the worst Mother’s Day of my life. Both of my younger brothers’ wives were pregnant, and though I was happy for them…it didn’t help my personal feeling of loss. Usually, I made it through the Mother’s Day church service without spilling tears. Our church does an excellent job of recognizing ALL women on Mother’s Day, giving flowers to every female and celebrating the influence the women have on all the children. “It takes a village” and all that happy trappy.
Don’t get me wrong. It was better than watching only women who had birthed a child receive a flower but it still couldn’t take away all the pain. Sort of like that bubblegum-flavored gel they give you at the dentist to numb the area before the Novocaine syringe. It sort of dulls the ache, but you still feel the cold stainless steel sliding into your gum.
So, that particular day, I was especially edgy and just wanted to leave. As I walked down the aisle toward my seat, I heard a chirpy little voice behind me. “Happy Mother’s Day!” A little boy I knew, but not well, leaped into my arms. I knelt down, wrapping my arms around him.
Tears pricked my eyes and slipped down my cheeks. I looked around to see who was cutting onions in church, and then whispered, “Thanks, Buddy.” He squeezed my neck tight, grinned at me and skipped off.
That kid saved my Mother’s Day.
I tell this story, not so you will feel sorry for me but to make a point (unless your sympathy prompts you to send me Godiva chocolate. In that case…by all means, go ahead).
Here’s my point. There are women in your life and mine—possibly even reading this blog—who are in that same place. Look around for her tomorrow. Notice the downcast eyes, the slumped shoulders, the less-springy-than-usual stride. Give her an extra hug. If one of these women has been an influence in your life, make sure to thank her.
Has she dedicated time to your children? Make sure THEY thank her.
Many women who don’t have children spend many mostly-unnoticed hours caring for others. Pay attention. Search out those ladies. Give a hug, squeeze a hand.
If you are that lovely woman who wishes for children and endures Mother’s Day, know that I understand the depth of that pain, and that my heart is with you. Thank you for everything you do. To the women in my life who have been “adopted mothers” to me, to my husband and to my children, I hope you know how special you are. We wouldn’t be where we are without you.
(And although this post isn’t about bio moms, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to my mom. Love you so much!)
Make tomorrow the BEST Mother’s Day ever for someone in your life.
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