Sunday, May 11, 2008

I fell off my soapbox

"Youth fades; love droops, the leaves of friendship fall; A mother's secret hope outlives them all." -- Oliver Wendell Holmes
I had a Mother's Day post started where I was ranting about my dislike for Mother's Day. How we eagerly, joyfully, sign the contract to be Mother's and then expect people to honor us when that turns out to mean hard self-sacrificing work and lots of mindless, thankless drudgery. How Mother's Day feeds into my own week human tendencies to think someone should be indebted to me for putting my children's needs before my own. When, in fact, I am the one who should feel honored that by God's grace I have been privileged enough to be called "Mother" four times over. (And trust me when I say that it certainly was grace as I screwup far too much to have earned such a gift.)

And that what I really need is a reminder of what a blessing my children are to me and not the other way around.

But then today I received this poem that Allie wrote me:

“She” Poem

She is a gift, a requirement in life
She wonders why we can’t all get along
She hears, “I love you, mom.”
She wants the world to be peaceful
She is a gift, a requirement in life

She pretends that her children will never grow up
She feels happy with our presence
She touches our foreheads with her lips as she kisses us goodnight
She worries that she isn’t all she should be (but she is!)
She is a gift, a requirement in life

She understands that sacrifices may have to be made for satisfaction
She says, “That everybody has a bad side sometimes”
She dreams of singing with me one day
She does all she can to provide for our needs
She hopes that one day we’ll all be healthily happy
She is a gift, a requirement in life

And I cried.

And I now say "Baloney" to all of that anti-mother's day babble. I love Mother's Day! Thank you, my beautiful girl, for honoring me. It is really nice to be appreciated, isn't it?


Lisa writes... said...

What a precious tribute! That's some girl you have there...

Don and Lynn said...

Oh wow! How beautiful! It made me cry, too! ANY day is a good day to hear something like that!

Kyla said...

She's so sweet!

Happy Mother's Day!

Sarah said...

What sweet, perfect words. Happy Mother's Day.

Sister K said...

happy mother's day! what a special tribute :)

Christine said...

this is so lovely. treasure it forever. and the babies below made me smile--i need that.


painted maypole said...

mother's day is rough, because it can become about that expectation of being appreciated, and it is all to easy for us to fall into the "I wasn't appreciated in the RIGHT way." But I think it's good for us as children to stop and honor our parents, and for us as parents to stop and honor ourselves, and be grateful for the gifts we've been given.

and your daughter! yeesh! how sweet is she?

Chaotic Joy said...

Maypole, I agree that honoring our parents is important, and in fact, a Biblical commandment which can be as difficult to follow as adults as it was as children. My issue with Mother's Day is that most people I know seem to dread it for one reason or another. That seems to say to me that it has become about expectations (meeting them or having them met) and not about real meaning.

And I guess what I was trying to say is that I need to try to take "myself" out of the equation and not be sucked in by some media created idea of what I deserve to have because I am a mother on Mother's Day.

Lori said...

Well, what mother wouldn't cry over that?!?

I agree with painted maypole in that I think the most valuable part of Mother's Day is reminding children to take time out to say thank you to their mom every now and then. However, as I told my sister, "The sooner you get over the idea that Mother's Day is going to be some kind of day off, the happier you will be." (I wasn't saying that to her, we were both saying it about some young mothers we know with HIGH expectations for their "day.")

I didn't get an eloquent poem but my oldest did proclaim me the "best mother in the universe". I'll take it. I mean, who knew I was even better than the mothers on Mars?

Spice Girl said...

You know, I've hated Mother's day for a long time, not because of expectations of others for honoring me, but for my own expectations and feeling like I wasn't good enough.

I'm over that now. I proudly declare myself a Worst Mama Ever.

And I enjoyed my Mother's day immensely.

spaz said...

That is so sweet and so Great! Awww! You need to keep this by your beside and read it every morning and night!

Beck said...


the dragonfly said...

What a sweet girl you have...