The days leading up to mother's day - lots of preparation for gifts for mom, arrangements to go to mom's house, picking up flowers, saying 'I love you' to our moms...... Here we are again.... and it's good.
A little secret about mothers day, though. I must say that I never really appreciated my mother as much as when I became a dad. My mother is fantastic. I've always known it, and I've always been appreciative (although I've not always shown it, and yes, I've taken her for granted.... and okay, I'll be honest - I'm a kid..... I lied to her, I cheated, I made her embarrassed, I yelled at her, I did not consider her, I took advantage of her...... all in a day's work.) But, I've always known to come around and say thank you at least once a year for the thankless job that a mother has to her children, and reveled in the marvel that my mom, like most moms, find the role of mother to be a gift.
Enter my wife. We had 5 great years together before having children, and then waded into parenthood scared. Who am I kidding? We were scared, but there was no wading - we jumped in with both feet, and 6 years later, we had 4 children. It's the night before mother's day, and we've been busy being parents and trying to hold our lives together: work (yes, we do this too), laundry, cleaning, driving to karate / gymnastics / hockey / soccer / swimming lessons, fixing bikes, fixing beds, hanging pictures, bandaging scrapes, breaking up fights, calming fears and tears, picking up toys, yelling, making meals, packing school bags and lunches, waking, picking out clothes, etc etc etc etc..... Life is nuts... but a fun kind of nuts. I'm privileged now to be looking through photos of the last year of our kids to put together the annual photo mosaic for my wife as mom and recent pics of the kids for her breakfast spot tomorrow morning.
I'm refreshed by the number of posts that are circulating the Facebook / social media / blogosphere this year that have to do with the fact that most moms are real. They yell, they don't always like to do what they do, and yes, it is a thankless job where some days, you just can't wait to get the kids into bed (kicking and screaming), so you can try to catch your 10 pm show that you haven't watched in weeks because the kids were going to bed kicking and screaming. BUT, it is possible to love your kids, not despite this, but BECAUSE of this. We are broken, imperfect, just-trying-to-get-it-right parents. And kids get it... usually.
My favourite mom? Well, there are two. I have always loved my mother. I now also love my children's mom. And you know what? I think I love my mother even more because of my wife and who I see she is to our kids. Being a mom is tough work - thankless work - relentless work - awesome work. Today, she spent a good part of the day not cleaning and arranging and 'laundrying' like she wanted to (and likely feels guilty because she hasn't). No, she spent some frustrating hours at the kitchen table making cards for their grandmothers. Being a kid with our kids, caring that they love and express love.....
To my Mom - Happy Mothers Day! To my Wife - Happy Mothers Day! I love you as my life partner, and as the mother of our children. Mom, I love you even more because I love my wife - and now know all the more what it is to be a mom.