Sitting in the cool of the Florida evening, I think about the last four days and my heart is full. I watched my boys laugh, show faces of excitement I haven’t seen before, and hug me for no reason at all expect plain old happiness and love. My mother, my friend, my special mama treated our family to a vacation we will never forget. I had the great privilege of spending this Mother’s Day with her.
My mom is five feet tall and one of the kindest souls you will know. She is a woman who gazes with a smile. Whether sitting on a bench eating her creme brûlée or standing in a line with antsy kids approaching the roller coaster, she smiles. My mom is small, but mighty. Although, she screamed as a fake eagle flew toward her in the IMAX theater, she laughs and carries on, giving us all something to smile and laugh about. When I was young, I would ask my mom to put the plate garnish from my dinner in her purse, I always thought they were so beautiful. She never told me that’s ridiculous or silly, she would just stick it in her purse and tell me how pretty it was.
Now that I am a mother, all I can say is, thank you, mom. Mothering is hard, it is joy, it is painful at times and brings worry and doubt. Mothering is scary; like walking the tight rope hoping you won’t fall off, for fear of ruining your children. With all the things my mom did well, the thing I want to reflect the the most onto my children is joy, as my mom reflected on to me. Finding joy in a butterfly, or the birds in the yard. She still gasps for air when a blue bird sits on the porch and we all think she is choking, just to find out it was a bird. Her excitement for God’s beautiful creation, the flowers and nature show me how to see our world with an added joyful lens.
Growing up, my mom was busy as a bee; ironic that now she is a beekeeper in her retired days. She would always get up early, take us to school, and worked until the wee hours of the evening. She is good with numbers and business and worked her way up the ladder to the President of the Bank. The bank was a familiar place to me. It is where I became inspired to be a teacher. I would use the upstairs white board to teach my wall students to write their ABC’s, and drink a 50¢ dr. pepper from the lobby machine while my mom was finishing up. I played pretend teller at the window and shredded lots of papers as her night assistant. There were hard parts of my sweet mom working a lot, but no matter what we choose in life there is always a sacrifice at the other end of it. My mom chose to work hard for our family, which not only put me through college but helped me survive those hard college years. She showed me what it means to work hard, and press in and finish whatever you put your mind too.
I do not believe there is one right way to be a mother, but in the sacrifices, the choices we make, and the challenges we face, one thing we can do is love our babies well. We can lead them to Jesus and remind them to let their little lights shine. We can encourage them to follow their dreams, passions, and goals in whatever it is they choose to do. I called my mom during my sophomore year of college and told her I can’t do music anymore and wanted to quit. She encouraged me to follow my heart and push through and two years later I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Music Education. Mom, I love you, I thank you for loving me well, showing me Jesus and pushing me to be my best. You make my heart full of joy and I forever love you more than the moon and all the stars. Happy Mother’s Day