Tuesday, May 14, 2013

For Mothers

It's been pretty quiet around here lately, but don't worry, I have a really good reason.

(The reason is "too tired" and I'm okay with that.)

After dragging my pregnant self to Little Rock with our youth group this weekend to praise Jesus with hundreds of crazy Catholic teenagers, we landed smack dab on Mother's Day. The guys who call me mama welcomed me home with big hugs and toothy grins. The daddies cooked and cleaned as we watched the boys play in the Arkansas sunshine. We opened cards filled with love and support and we thanked one another for the thoughtfulness.

We mothers are pretty important, after all. Your life depended on one.

Fast Forward: After Mother's Day, it was Monday. A physically exhausted, sleep-deprived kind of Monday. I went through the motions best I could and then packed it in to collect my favorite two-year-old. When he came to the door, something was off. His Nannie said he didn't eat lunch (which is when I knew something was off).

After a quiet commute to pick up the big brother, we took the highway home. I instantly laid my baby on his changing table and took his temperature. It beeped at 102.1. Uh oh. I gave the pediatrician's office a call and booked him the first slot of the day. Thankfully his daddy was off work and able to take him. The verdict is one ear infection, one swollen lymph node, one bad case of strep throat, and one super sad baby.

Monday was a far cry from the Hallmark-recognized day of roses, jewelry, and breakfast in bed. But, y'all, Monday was motherhood.

Motherhood is not something that I do. It's who I am.

It's not easy and it frustrates me more often than I care to admit. However, I don't consider it a "job" for which I deserve praise, because it cannot be separated from who I am.

On this (belated) Mother's Day, I salute all who understand that. Those who are mamas in the traditional sense, those who care deeply for kids who aren't biologically their own, those whose babies never made it to earth or just stopped by for a little while, and those who still struggle with the desperate need to be able to receive a flowery card on the second Sunday in May.

Each of you know a very special kind of love. It's the unconditional, irrevocable, to-the-moon-and-back kind. And this Mother's Day, I pray for you. I pray that you keep peace during your struggles, that you give praise during your successes, and that you count every one of the blessings in your life.

I know the lives of my three would not have been possible without a little work on my part, but they make me who I am. They make me a mama.

And I love them without trying - even in tears and goofy faces.

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