I had the perfect Mother’s Day today. I got to sleep in, and woke up to the sounds and smells of breakfast-in-bed being prepared for me. Said breakfast was later delivered by my dashing husband, and both kids, who were already cleaned up and dressed for church. After finishing every morsel of my meal, I found myself being inundated with lovely gifts, handmade by Tifanny & Co. My family demanded that I get myself a hot shower and insisted that I take all the time I want. Throughout the day, if I even thought of working, I was told to relax, told to put my feet up, and handed another chocolate covered strawberry. My coffee never went cold, and no diaper ever went unchanged. It was a perfect day . . .
And completely a lie (except for the “dashing husband” part).
How it went? My sweet husband has been battling the flu for a couple days now. Aside from pulling himself out of bed to lead worship at church on Saturday night, he needed to sleep all day Saturday, and probably could have used another day of vegetating today. But, my husband’s “the show must go on” gumption allowed him to help me get the kiddos ALMOST all ready before he headed to see the youth at church this morning.
It SHOULD have worked out perfectly. I would find myself with time to get ready and finish getting the kiddos ready. But I didn’t. Zack has decided to his new favorite naptime pastime is screaming, and refused to take his morning nap . . . again. He was to be dedicated this morning at church AND is battling another little cold, so I was determined to see him through to the Land of Nod. But, he must have been concerned that I would forget what he looked like, because he WOULD NOT let me put him down.
I got to church only to realize that both Abby and I hadn’t eaten. To Starbucks we went, where we ate some “breakfast”, and we found ourselves 45 minutes late to her Sunday school class. Her oh-so-gracious teacher allowed her to join the group. Abby took this moment, just as her brother had earlier, to remind me that she is the center of my universe by having a meltdown at the Sunday school class door, concluded by an impressive attempt to hold on to me with her gangly legs, while her oh-so-patient teacher was holding the north-end of her.
In yet another attempt to get Zack his nap, I hustled to the nursery to nurse and lay him down. Of course, it didn’t work. I still had my very sleepy, snotty, and now stinky little guy on my hip, when I realized that the next church service was minutes away, which would include a very important baby dedication portion, featuring Mister Sleepy Snotty Stinky. I was able to change the little man before going up on stage, and while the service was lovely, and the whole family had gathered to honor us and him, we knew we needed to get the kids home before sleep deprivation got the best of us them. After a wonderful, yet long, Saturday, and in anticipation of another wonderful, yet long, Sunday afternoon, it would be for the betterment of humanity.
We made it home and little man was out in no time. So, rush we did, our 2-yr-old to put a little lunch in her tummy before her nap so her only 50%-feeling-good parents could also rest and ward off the rest of this dang bug . . . but DOGGONE that sibling telepathy that keeps young children from EVER napping at the same time. I swear the minute Abby blew me her night-night kiss, Little Mister began chatting away in his crib, ready to party.
My poor husband, who I was randomly finding laying down in the most interesting areas in the house, needed to be in bed. So, sent him I did, to bed. And I got to play with my boy.
My dogs were barking and my nap-pillow remained un-dented.
Catching the pattern? There was no opportunity for (rest/relaxation/reflection) on my Mother’s Day. There were a handful of moments in the craziness of today where I could hear a faint whining coming from my soul that sounded shrill and chanted “no fair”. There were even moments where I was looking at my babies, and being frustrated with them for needing so much from their Mommy . . . on Mother’s Day, of all days.
Thankfully, that voice was muted by another voice that spoke the words, “This is only for a time . . . enjoy them.” In the midst of the struggle with myself and my own expectations for what “my” day was supposed to look like, I did half-heartedly engage in a conversation, that eventually, inundated my whole heart. I was reminded that maybe Mother’s Day needs to be more about focusing and reflecting on the incredible blessing of my kids, and less about waiting for them to focus on me.
You know what? From that moment I lifted those “focus on me” thoughts from my family, I found myself with more energy, the house didn’t seem so messy, and even their runny noses seemed to run less. Zack’s “I’m trying to keep you from resting” nap cry turned to an “I miss my Mommy” cry. My outlandish expectations for Josh, turned to compassion for my sick husband.
My sick husband . . . who also managed to pull together the perfect gift for me.
The title of my post involves a “brand new bag”. That’s exactly what I got. A brand new bag. One adorned with the precious hand prints and drawings of my most precious children. One that I toted along with me everywhere I went today, and made sure it was always facing out, so spectators wouldn’t mistake this special bag for any ordinary canvas bag. This new bag, undoubtedly one of the least trendy handbags around, will be used until the tiny fingerprints wear off, and long after I stop carrying teethers and diapers. It means the world to me.
Thankfully, along with my brand new bag, I also got a brand new perspective on this holiday.
God, thank you for the precious gift of children . . . young and old, alike. In the Mother’s Days to come, may I never, ever, ever forget to thank you for letting me care for these precious jewels of your creation. May I ALWAYS be humbled by this gift, when they are near or far. Thank you for your example of parenting . . . with steadfastness, with grace, but most of all, with LOVE. Amen.