I have never been a fan of Mother’s Day.
Today, the day before Mother’s Day is the 22nd anniversary of my motherhood. Our oldest daughter turns 22 today and graduates from my alma mater, Abilene Christian University. She was in the audience when I graduated from ACU, she was one.
And I remember my first Mother’s Day, on the 5th floor of a sterile hospital room with a brown eyed baby girl. The young mom in the bed next to me said, “What did you name your baby?” I proudly chirped, “Mary Margaret!” and she scowled and said, “Eww, that’s strange.” Unaffected by her censure I politely volleyed the contest, “I guess, I like old fashioned names. What did you name your baby?”
“Alaska Dawn, like a morning sunrise… in Alaska.”
I really didn’t need that explained to me, Magellan… but uh, this is Texas, and I know for a fact your baby was born at 2:45 in the afternoon.
We had nothing left to discuss after that and soon it was time to go.
For the rest of my days, it was time for something.
Time to feed, time to nap, crying time, time to wean, time to crawl, time to walk, time to eat, time to change, time to play… time to go to school.
This is what I had waited my entire life for, to be a mom. And now the time had come and the seconds ticked away at a time when Maggie would no longer need me and the job I had waited a lifetime for, would be over.
This never sat well with me. Of course, I wanted her to grow and become the beautiful young woman she is, but I hated the ticking of the clock that forever marked off time toward the finish line of my dreams.
Granted, even as they leave the nest, they still call me mom, and I am still wholeheartedly mother, but it is certainly different than it was on that first Mother’s Day.
But on that first Mother’s Day, I knew one thing for sure, I never wanted Maggie to feel she owed me something. I never wanted her to feel as if she must pay a debt to me because I loved her first. And I saw other moms take offense when they weren’t showered with gifts, rest, and breakfast in bed – and I promise, that’s fine, you do your thing and I will do mine. But I knew I wanted Maggie to know, she owed me nothing.
It was my pleasure.
Not only was it my pleasure, the reward wasn’t a day of Hallmark cards and coupons for kisses, the reward was getting to be her mom.
The significance of a day is only as grand as the contents acknowledged. Today was an insane day. I spent 4 hours in the ER with a torn calf muscle. I hobbled into a Mother’s Day tea as the guest speaker. Ending the day with my foot elevated, hopped up on pain meds- writing a post about why I don’t want to be celebrated.
Today Maggie will be a college graduate.
Today John will spend his 66th day at Marine Bootcamp.
Today Luke will be just as stubborn and fantastic as every day since the first day I met him.
Today Sophie will be as moody as any 14-year-old girl you’ve ever met… and she will fill our home with insane piano pieces, she plays by ear.
Today Sam 5, and Charlie 3, aka the Vandals, will vandalize… they always do.
And today is the last Saturday our foster love will spend in our home… next weekend she will be at her birth home.
No need to praise or pity me… no need to feel an obligation – please only remember – I loved fearlessly.
Months, years, seasons, decades… time.
Tomorrow the nation will celebrate moms… but I celebrate my motherhood every day. I am better off for having loved these people. Whether they were born of me or not, they each call me mom.
Pieces of me, both good and bad will stay with them.
I will be blamed for some of their troubles; I will be applauded for a few of their hard works. And I don’t think I am better than someone who loves Mother’s Day – nor do I feel less than if I am not acknowledged. I personally just don’t need one day of restitution for doing what I love.
Of all the days that clip away, each journey around the sun, I love that I am a mother every single day since 22 years ago today.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
Romans 13:8: “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
You might also like:
An Open Letter to My Children: You’re Not That Great and a AMAZING MOTHER’S DAY post by my friend Christy Mobley.