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A journey through Mother’s Day.

I love the idea of being pampered. I love it all too deeply, I’m afraid. So my first Mother’s Day as a mother, 2010, was really wonderful. I was really excited to stand up and receive that special blessing at mass. My child had not been born yet. We lived in Virgina far away from family. My husband took me to Le Madeleine and let me buy myself a present. I forgot to buy a card but I called my mom.

DIGITAL CAMERAMy second Mother’s Day, 2011, was probably wonderful too. By then I had one baby born. I don’t remember very much from it. We were still in Virginia.

IMG_2639 My third Mother’s Day, 2012, was when things got complicated. We were back in California. This meant two families plus my own motherhood to celebrate. We went to Marie Calendar’s with my family for brunch. It was nice, but hot and very crowded. I had one baby born and one on the way. My husband’s family plans much more last minute. They planned to eat lunch at Johnny Carino’s that afternoon. We announced my pregnancy after lunch. It was a very tiring day going out twice like that. I was sad my husband did not write out a card for me because I’m spoiled like that. He put together a brilliantly sweet and funny picture-card written in the voice of our 1 ½ old daughter.

IMG_3502After that, we had two kids and naps became more and more important so we were unable to attend get-together’s planned in my husband’s family, as they usually involved lunch. We had a picnic at Micke Grove in 2013.

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Last year on Mother’s Day, we had two kids and one newborn.

IMG_4674My husband tried to make me breakfast in bed with our eldest’s help but I was already up taking care of the baby.

Last year I read a very good reflection piece online about Mother’s Day and disappointed expectations, disappointed because sometimes we mothers get confused about what Mother’s Day is about. As much as it is about celebrating mothers, that celebration of motherhood is a day that does not make motherhood stop. So there will still be dishes, diapers, crying, but it’s a day when I, as a mother, can reflect on the magnitude and beauty of the call. I can spend time thinking about how my motherhood would be weak indeed without the support of my husband, and I can thank God for him.

IMG_3688Our children are growing older and so we are able to start involving them more. My daughter loves to buy gifts for people and she is wonderful to shop with. She can copy letters and write cards. It’s a good time to be a mother. It’s a wonderful time to teach my children about gratitude and generosity, I mean, when it’s my turn to lead them in celebrating Father’s Day. Now it’s my husband’s turn.

I will probably not sleep well the night before. I will probably wake up an ungodly hour and not be able to fall back asleep. My husband will probably very sweetly have something planned (I left a magazine clipping on his desk, after all) but the fact that I get up, get dressed and put on make-up before he’s up will make that breakfast-in-bed difficult.

And the children will fight, whine, and tug on me…but this year, I’m arming myself with anticipation and preparing to take it as a day to reflect on what it means to be a mother. It does not mean pampering, but service.

And then, I can turn around and celebrate my own mother.

IMG_4232Happy Mother’s Day.

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