Saturday, May 9

Gather 'round . . .

Mother's Day - a time to reflect with profound gratitude and move forward with renewed purpose. I love how anticipating Mother's Day makes me think of all the things my mom has done for me and my siblings over the years. It overwhelms and inspires me. I love being reminded of the divine stewardship the Lord has entrusted in lil' ol' me. It too overwhelms and inpires me. Mother's Day fills me with awe for women throughout time and the sacrifices they make for their families, supporting their husbands and caring for members of the human race young and old. Motherhood is the hardest, most humbling, refining, most sublime mortal experience in my opinion and I am proud to be a part of this noble sorority. I have been and continue to be so blessed by the women in my life who have nurtured me and helped me cherish the role of mother. Thank you, all of you!!!

I often wish I could turn back the clock and redo many a Mother's Day for my mom. I think I always figured next year I could be there and make a better go of it. Breakfasts in bed, iron all the kids' clothes for church without being asked, engage my siblings in more quiet undestructive games so she could have the day off for real, help make dinner, cleanup, find the perfect way or gift to express my appreciation . . . my mom sure deserved it for birthing, raising and putting up with all our antics! As my mom's first and being born on her birthday, I've always had at least in the back of my mind, the thought that mothers should be honored on each of their kids' birthdays. They're the ones who have done the work worth celebrating another year!

I think my favorite birthday shared with my mom to date was when I was a young teenager and we were able to go to Portland and just shop care-free for a few days. Since our birthday falls right after Christmas, there were fun sales to be had and the best moment was when my mom found a pantsuit she loved. She rarely bought clothes for herself that brought a twinkle to her eye. Now having had a kid or two, I understand the euphoria of finding any clothing item fitting the way you like it! Away from the clamor of all our family, we were just girlfriends out shopping and I felt sure that she deserved that trip more than I ever did!

For Mother's Day, a standard gift for mom was her favorite Almond Roca. A couple months ago I spotted that sacred of all pink canisters at the PX and grabbed one without even thinking. I think I gobbled it up in a week, pretty much all by myself! As kids, most of us stayed away from mom's Roca because we didn't like the outer nuts. I thought that was probably why it was her favorite. Everyone knows mom's really don't have much they can call their own afterall. However, as the years have gone by, many of my mom's favorites have become my own. Almond Roca being no exception. Eating it reminds me of her and makes me happy, without fail! However, McKay has no aversion to nuts and often catches me in the act so he usually gets a bite. Usually.

I'm looking forward to the seasons of motherhood yet to come. As a teenager caring for my infant brothers or sisters, I loved playing mommy. But the time would always come when they'd had enough of me and just wanted mom. I wondered why my care wasn't enough then and hoped I would be blessed with a future family to experience being "the one" a baby wants above all others. It's been one of my favorite things about having each of my kids. The look on their face when they see me and that instant grin of recognition and love. Better yet, they don't even care what state of personal grooming I'm in! Now that's love!

For now, I am loving the stage I'm in. I know it is fleeting. I know great things and challenges are ahead. And I often feel compelled to soak up the experiences of others in stages ahead of me so I can be better prepared for what's ahead for my husband, children, siblings, parents and those around me. From those who have gone before me, I know that the mothering role to nurture simply isn't limited to the children you birth. I thank my Father in Heaven for this gift and opportunity to learn and grow into the mother He knows I can become. He's invested more in me than I'll ever know and has a stake in my success. I'm not alone and what comfort and peace that gives me.

Happy Mother's Day!