Before I had kids I didn’t really get Mother’s Day. Sure, I loved my mom, but I didn’t understand why we dedicated a day to pampering her with flowers, breakfast in bed and coupons for a massage. I mean, why all the fuss over how she cooked our meals and drove me to gymnastics and French braided my hair while I complained she was tugging too hard? Wasn’t she just doing her job? It’s not that I was a bad daughter, I was just a little clueless about what the mommy role entailed.
Now that I’m the person doing those tasks — plus getting up with sick kids in the night, helping them navigate tantrums and hurt feelings, walking them through math problems, reading them bedtime stories, enforcing bath time (and bedtime), shopping for the stuff they need, listening to the occasional sass and the endless complaints about broccoli and mashed cauliflower and “I hate shrimp!” — I wish there were several times a year when I would wake to flowers, breakfast in bed and coupons for a massage.
Being a mom is hard work and sometimes feels like a slog, but it’s also so rewarding, and never more so than on that magical day when your kids finally get it. Evidently, I was a little slow in that department as a child. My daughter, on the other hand, seems to understand (and I hope it’s not because I’m always grumbling about all the stuff I do for her). This year for Mother’s Day she made me a card that spelled out how great she thinks I am:
It’s not like I need constant high-fives and reinforcement about my skills in this area, but it’s great when your kid tells you and it comes from the heart. What touched me is how she captured more on the card than the mom part. Yes, she thinks I’m a “magical” and “terrific” mama, and she appreciates that I’m silly and that I plant flowers with her (that’s how we spent our Mother’s Day afternoon). But she also sees me as a person beyond my mommy-ness — as a writer and blogger and above all, a human.
So thank you my sweet Avery. I wish there was a Daughter’s Day so I could tell you all the things I love about you. Wait, never mind. I try to tell you these things in little bits every day. Like how I love how kind and caring you are, how it’s so sweet you have such empathy for your little brother, how you try so hard at tasks until you find an answer or complete them. And I love that you told me you loved me what sounded like 50 times between your birthday and today. I love you too.