This Mother’s Day is different. I’m getting ready to send my firstborn baby out into the world. In less than ten days, she’ll graduate from high school, and in three months she’ll head to college. Hand me the Kleenex now, and keep them coming.
Parenthood isn’t easy. Remember the Proverbs 31 woman? She’s a mother who works in the home and outside of it, gets up early, goes to bed late, buys land, plants a crop, gives to the poor, helps out the needy, and finds time to make her own clothes. She gives up a lot, mostly sleep, and probably a little free time, too, but what matters is what she gives: she gives confidence to her family, and wisdom, and kindness.
Like every mother of every generation, she gives for no better reason than love.
If any mother tries to tell you differently, on one of those lousy days when we’re feeling sorry for ourselves because the kids won’t behave and the school called again, the car won’t start, the washer’s leaking, and the paycheck didn’t quite stretch as far enough, and you hear us moaning, “Oh, I’m doing it all for the sake of my children…Oh, I think nothing of myself!,” don’t believe her. Just smile, and nod, and hand her another cup of coffee.
Here’s the little secret mothers like to keep to ourselves on those bad days: We get back just as much as we give. No mother gets paid for being a mother, not in dollars and cents. A mother’s payment is love in return. That’s why we do it.
This Mother’s Day, let’s thank our moms profusely for all they’ve done for us. Let’s thank God for them. Let’s remember and give thanks for all the kindnesses, large and small, and especially for the gift of faith in Jesus Christ, which so many of our mothers passed on to us.
But, also, we mothers might take the opportunity to thank our children, for all they have done and are doing to make us wiser, more patient and holier people, and for bringing us joy.
As my daughter heads off into adulthood, there’s a certain peace that comes with knowing I’ve done all I can do. Of course, the peace alternates with terror. What if all I’ve done wasn’t enough? Both the peace and the terror are eventually overcome, though, by gratitude. Thank you, baby, for letting me be your mother.
Finally, let’s all thank God, the source of life and love. We love, after all, because He first loved us.