Today for Mother’s Day I got to hug my kids. They let me sleep in this morning and woke me up with breakfast in bed, made and delivered by three pairs of tiny, itty bitty hands. When I was done eating I got to take a long ocean scented bubble bath in a candle lit bathroom with a huge plate of Belgium chocolates next to it. I got wrapped gifts from decoration for the new house’s bathroom over a touch pen for my tablet to poems and drawn pictures and cut out arts and crafts, by what I am sure caused many hours of many glue covered fingers.
When I became a mom 8 years ago, I didn’t know a four letter word on a cut out piece of paper could make me so emotional. “Mama” it says in tiny wobbly children written letters.
Before I became a mom I was excited for days like this, back then it was birthdays and Christmases. I was excited for gifts and parties. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy gifts, parties and yes even other material things as much as the next guy. I’m not going to lie. I am excited like crazy about the new house, vacation trips, days at the zoo, going out to fancy restaurants. What I did learn to appreciate so much more when I became a mom though, was each and every ordinary day.
I love ordinary days. Many of our friends complain about bad school grades, tantrums or misbehaved kids. They complain about forgotten jackets in school buses ans sticky fingerprints on just-cleaned windows. They complain about their stressful every day lives. I appreciate those days. I love days filled with morning grumpiness in 3 pairs of sleepy little eyes because it’s way too early to get up. I appreciate spilled milk from their morning cereal. I love the rush of the mornings trying to get them all ready and to the school bus, kindergarten and playgroups in time. I love the craziness of afternoon homework, running errands, appointments and therapies, afternoon activities, night time swimming classes. I love our family dinners filled with talks about every ones day and laughter and sibling silliness. The ever repeating “you really need to brush your teeth now, it’s way past your bedtime”, the craziness of the evening rush after dinner trying to get them to bed. I enjoy singing each of them their individual good night song each night, the ones I sang to them even during those 9 month they grew inside of me. I admire their closed little eyes and their snoring little noses once they are tucked in their soft blankets. I am a sucker for collapsing on the couch after a long, ordinary day, turning on the TV to a silly comedy show while cuddled in the arms of the man I love. I love to hear their tiny little feet stomping across the hallway at 3am to crawl in bed with us because they can’t sleep. I cherish being kicked by little toes and tiny elbows because they can’t lay still when they sleep in bed with us. I love tiny feet, hands and tickling hair waking me up at all hours of the night.
From the first time I looked into my newborn baby’s eyes all those years ago, I loved each and every ordinary, stressful, crazy day with all of my heart.
Because I realize, not everyone gets to have just one more ordinary day.
All of this stuff that seems so ordinary, can be gone in just one second, one blink of an eye, on any given day. There are parents out there who don’t get to celebrate today. Some parents out there have very sick kids, others have missing children. Some even lost their babies because they died or got killed, sometimes in the cruelest possible ways. Some parents and children out there endure more pain than what seems humanly possible. Some have to live with a pain that no one should have to live with. I am sure those parents would lay down their lives to be given just one more ordinary day.
Some days I feel like am a horrible mom, because our days aren’t always perfect. Sometimes I don’t have time to play with the kids and cherish every single second and every single breath. In the routine of our daily lives I don’t always have time to play, because life happens. Because I have to empty the dishwasher, take phone calls from architects who aren’t doing their job or because we have to rush to meetings. And then there’s the laundry which won’t get done by itself and the dinners who still fail to prepare themselves. Precious moments I should appreciate more are getting lost because some things simply have to get done. But seeing the love in my childrens eyes makes me thing that maybe I’m not doing half as bad as I think I am. Maybe I am doing just fine. Maybe I appreciate ordinary days more than most people.
I pray every single morning and every single night because my children are healthy and here with me. A lot of our friends comment quite a bit on me “always being so calm” and how they admire me for that. I have never raised my hand to any of my children, I hardly ever raise my voice and I have never yelled at them. (Yet I still believe they – so far – have become pretty decent human beings ; ) ). I don’t get upset about sticky fingers which cause my door handles to be full of chocolate two seconds after I cleaned them. The truth is I enjoy seeing their little nose prints on just cleaned windows, because I know it’s so much more important that they squished there noses there to wait for daddy to come home or to show me a little bird who just landed on our balcony. I love crayon marks on white walls because it is proof of the life and love in this house. Each stain, each spill, each noise is proof they are here, they are happy and they are healthy. They are HERE. So while I do get stressed, upset and crazy ever now and then just like every one else, I believe I get so a lot less then most people. Because I appreciate the madness, the noise, the dirt and the messes. I will have plenty of time to clean up those messes and have a picture perfect clean house once all those toys are packed away and no longer played with. Once they are all grown and moved out. So for now I will hang on to every crazy moment, every spilled drink and every single ordinary day. And I will love it with every piece of my heart. For all those parents who wish they could have just that. Just one more ordinary day.
So this Mothers Day with all the glory and pampering it had in store for me, the biggest gift my children gave to me remains unknown to them. Because for Mothers Day today – I got to hug my kids.