I pray for a Teflon heart on major holidays but on this day I ask for a double coating of it. I know many of you as well have gotten very proficient in quickly switching channels when the Mother’s Day commercials appear. Thankfully I still have my Mother but nearly six years ago I lost the twelve-year-old who first made me one.
The Mother’s Day of 2009 was a disaster including vitriolic fights over who would hold the breakfast tray, spilled coffee and dog vomit. And that was all before 7:30 a.m. Then came church which resulted in another squabble when I allowed our fourth-grader, Jack, to lean on me in the pew but would not allow Maggie Lee to do the same. She wanted to sprawl out in a skirt with legs balled up toddler style. Luckily John was preaching that day we were right up front.
It was a humdinger of a day where my offspring’s negativity typically amortized over a three-month period was distilled into ONE single day. Somehow my Hallmark holiday like the fleeting melody of an ice cream truck in Summer proved beyond even my most desirous reach. Maggie Lee, sensing my disappointment (by sensing I mean hearing me say, “It is Mother’s Day! Everyone is supposed to be happy today.) illustrated a book of her favorite moments with me and it is one of my prized possessions. The disappointing day birthed an absolute treasure.
So let’s pinky-swear we’ll enjoy every unscripted moment today. The sibling throw-downs and the spilled coffee. You don’t have to enjoy the dog vomit, just make someone else clean it up. You may be shouldering the burden of parenthood by yourself or discouraged about the child which has yet to come. You may be missing your beloved mother or grandmother. With all we could grieve let us look around at what we have left. And revel in the perfect imperfection of it all.