Mother’s Day is hard. My cracked wide open heart trembled with the emotions and longing and expectations cascading through the women at church yesterday.
Everyone has a mother, yes. But the odds that a woman has a good relationship with her own mother, is able to marry and have children, to feel completely confident about her own mothering and have children who do the dishes on Mother’s Day are about a million to one.
Last week my friend Roz pulled me aside and said, “I want you to sit by me in Relief Society on Mother’s Day. I want to sit by another mother who admits she’s not perfect.” I was flattered by Roz’s invitation. Universally admired for her courage as she raises five kids while caring for her brain damaged husband, Roz also has some very real problems with her children.
So we sat together and whispered and cried a bit before we looked around and saw the whispers and tears of nearly every woman in the room. Motherhood is a bottomless lake, a never ending well of need. And despite it’s trials, there is nothing worse than aching to be a mother and suffering with empty, open arms. Do men feel the same sort of loss when they don’t have children? I don’t know.
I know I’m one of the lucky ones but some things(that yes, I’ve edited out) made the day especially hard. My list of mothering flaws if pretty long: I’m easily distracted, I’m a terrible cook and I spend way too much time pursuing my own interests. But I pray none of my failures disguise the fact that I love these beautiful people in my house, that they are everything to me. My entire heart is wrapped around these seven souls and I happy to give my whole life to them.
And I’m amazed and overwhelmed at the beauties around me:
all six kids playing together in the yard
a rich, round chocolate cake that my stomach resembles this morning
sparkling, dancing little Mary
long, sticky hugs from my pretty children
a sweet phone conversation with my Mom(more on that another day)
a letter from Stefan(late at night) that brought on happy tears
and a poem from Gabe that is unique as the boy himself. Imagine his poor teacher when she asked them to write a Mother’s Day poem and he turned this in(I just wish you could hear him sing it):
And there was once a little old lady
And she was blind
Guess what I did?
I got my yellow pail, filled it with water
And dumped it on her head.
and she grabbed her baseball bat and
Hit me on the head
OWWW! I said.
Now sing with me kids.
Oh little old lady, little old lady
Little old lady
Little old lady, little old lady
Little old lady