I remember one Mother’s Day, when my husband went home to Comox to spend the weekend with his father and stepmother and left me alone with two preschoolers and a morose teenager. I had no sooner packed the three into my mini-van after a particularly challenging Sunday morning getting them all ready for church, when my son turned green and spewed his not-quite-digested breakfast from his car seat perch forward and into the back of my head. My younger daughter, as if on cue, followed suit vomiting all over my mortified teenaged daughter. Needless to say, we never made it to church, but I spent that Mother’s Day feeling very sorry for myself while caring for sick babies, calming a distraught and overly dramatic teen, and trying to get the puke smell out of my van. When my husband phoned that evening to wish me a “Happy Mother’s Day” and tell me how “wonderful” his day had been, I spewed some choice words in his direction and proceeded to lambaste him with how awful MY Mother’s Day had turned out. Feeling shell-shocked by my verbal assault about something he had no control over and should not have been accused and faulted for, he passed the phone to his stepmom, who proceeded to calm me down with her time-honoured wisdom and truth. “Isn’t that what Mother’s Day is all about?” she said quietly. “You were being a MOM today! Congratulations on a job well done!”
Mother’s Day has come and gone for this year, and more memories have been made with my family. I’m glad we made a weekend of it, starting the memory-making on the Saturday with my children coming up to The Ponderosa. My grandbabies are an endless source of amusement and delight! The playground that my husband so lovingly built for our children in the mid nineties and “restored” when our first grandchild was born, has become the favourite play centre for my three grands. The seven-year old has to show off his climbing prowess, and his four-year old sister, who refuses to allow her brother to best her at anything, follows after him the best she can. Seventeen-month old, Paxton can’t utilize the swings or climbing wall without considerable adult help, but the smile on his face when he accomplishes even the simplest of skills, makes us just beam with excitement for him…until he decides to eat dirt! Hopefully we will have him trained from doing that before his little brother comes along some time this month!
It is a joy for me to have all three of my adult children drop in and just “hang out” with us now, not because we ask them to, but because they want to. There were times in their teen years they could not wait to spread their wings and fly away from home, but now they seem to swoop in regularly and get a recharge of childhood before flitting back to their own nests where their adult responsibilities take precedence. I love to see my kids visibly relax here at home. I know it wasn’t always this way, and I praise God for creating an atmosphere of welcome for them here.
My youngest is now a proud “Dog Mom”, after she and her boyfriend adopted a dog from the local shelter. Mila, has become my “Grand-pup”, and with four acres to run about here at The Ponderosa, Mila can work off some of her energy chasing balls, birds, bugs and grandbabies! Like my grandbabies, the grand-pup already knows where Grandma stores the special treats just for her. I tend to dole out “Grandma Treats” extravagantly whenever any of my grands visit. Which reminds me, that after this past Mother’s Day weekend, I’d better stock up again!
Every year I look forward to creating more Mother’s Day memories, but admittedly there have been some over these many years of celebrating them, that have not been pleasant ones. After experiencing two miscarriages, having empty arms while others celebrated Mother’s Day, was heartbreaking and painful for me. The feeling of great loss, the first Mother’s Day without my mother was overwhelmingly sad. Trying to celebrate Mother’s Day right after my third round of chemotherapy required Herculean effort to stay upbeat and positive. Despite the heaviness of heart, those particular Mother’s Days have allowed me to empathize and pray for women around me now who have empty arms and long to hold their babies, or have suffered great loss, or are in the throes of a serious health battle. I am also sensitive to those young moms of preschoolers, who feel frazzled and overwhelmed by motherhood. For single moms, and widows who must parent on their own, I pray for them that they may know that their efforts and energy do not go unnoticed. I pray for moms who struggle valiantly with their children through those tumultuous teen years. I’ve been there…the struggle is real! I also pray for the moms who have had to let their adult children go; to watch them make choices on their own, and then support those choices even if they are not the ones you might have made for them.
Lastly, I pray for grandmothers. I consider this season of life as a huge promotion for me. I’ve been promoted to “Grandmother” and there are privileges and perks I’ve never had before. For one thing, I can pass a smelly, dirt-eating grandchild to his dad to be changed and bathed if I want to. I can give Grandma Treats with wild abandon and I need not worry about spoiling my grandbabies whenever they come to visit. It’s my prerogative! It’s my job! What happens at Grandma’s house, stays at Grandma’s house! Mostly, though, I can delight in watching my children raise their children in the knowledge and admonition of the Lord. On the days when they feel the burden of parenthood weigh them down, they can drop in anytime and I can encourage them by saying, “Congratulations, on a job well done!”