Abby came bouncing up the stairs this morning as soon as she heard us wake up, and proudly handed me a red notebook that she had made at school. In it were pictures she had drawn of me, and questions about me she had answered. They're gems! Here are some of the best:
My mom's favorite food is: inchlatatas (that's exactly how she spelled it!)
My mother is 68 inches tall. (She was only off by four inches- I'm impressed!)
She weighs 134 pounds. (That's my girl. I'll keep her!)
She has blood hair. (Blonde? I hope that's what she meant...)
The food she likes best is ice cream. (Yup. That's why, despite what my sweet daughter thinks, I do not weigh 134 pounds.)
She spends most of her time doing violin. (Right again.)
If Mom could have one wish come true it would be for a pool and a mansion. (Well, I think the pool might be her idea. I'm scared of bathing suits. But a mansion would be nice, as long as I had the maid to clean it!)
Seriously though, Mother's day brings with it some weird emotions for me, some of which I haven't quite figured out yet. I've always had a hard time with Mother's Day talks in church. You know the ones: "My mother was the most wonderful mom in the world, and we had milk and cookies everyday when we came home from school, and she never raised her voice, and made all of our meals from scratch, and everyone in the neighborhood adored her, and she always sang us to sleep at night, and had matching clothes, and wore a perfect size 6, etc etc." Um, I'm not any of those things. There are days where I wonder what I was thinking becoming a mom. There are times where all I want to do is curl up in bed, pull the blankets over my head, grab a good book or a trashy magazine, and ignore the cries of "Mooooooooom" that come every five seconds.
Sometimes I feel like I don't do a good job of being a mom. There are nights I end up in tears because I've been impatient and short with my kids all day long, and I worry about the permanent damage I'm doing to them. There are times where I think that instead of saving for their collegs fund, I should be saving for their shrink bills. I wonder if Abby will hate me for pushing her to do violin all this time, and then I wonder if Ashlynn will hate me because I spent too much time doing violin with Abby.
I'm not a fingerpaint letters in pudding kind of mom. I don't really like playing Barbies with my girls. I get frustrated with messes way too easily, instead of rejoicing in my kids' creativity. I forget sometimes how young they really are, and how their jobs are to ask questions, make messes and to sometimes be completely exasperating. Its so hard to be unselfish, open, loving, uncritical, playful and giving when all I want at times is to be left alone with a bag of chocolate chips and a Diet Coke. I'm ashamed to admit it, but there's many times when I don't want to read the story, tie some shoes, make a sandwich (cut into little triangles with the crust cut off) or settle the 16th squabble of the day.
But I love them. I really, really love them. I would do anything for them. Even though it was never life threatening, having Max in the hospital for a week has made me appreciate how fragile life really is. Sounds cliched, but its true. Having my baby in the intensive care unit for five days made me realize that my children are my heart and soul. They are the reason that I do what I do. Sometimes I'm selfish, impatient, or unkind. I'm working on it.
I've spent a lot of time today reflecting on the kind of mother I am, and the kind of mother I want to be. I don't know that I'll ever make up a batch of pudding so that my kids can practice writing their letters, and I don't think I'll ever have decorations all over my house for every major and minor holiday. I'm far from the perfect mom. All I can hope is that someday my kids will forgive me for my imperfections and think "Well, she did the best she could. I always knew, no matter what, that she loved me."