Mother’s Day has come and gone, yes I am aware, yet this past Mother’s Day my eyes were opened to something so uniquely feminine, it deserved a moment of pause. At times Mother’s Day is so focused on us Moms, which is well deserved and rightly so. Our social culture will sell us on the perfect gift for her, flowers, mani/pedis or string of pearls. Yet, I was overcome with a profound understanding this year about our role as mothers, as caretakers having that ‘feminine genus’ that I’ve heard of so often, yet I rarely understood.
We attended Mass that morning, and as God designed, my daughter and 1st Communicant was invited to not only wear her 1st Communion finery yet again, but to be the selected little girl to climb the high ladder in our parish and crown Our Lady for the May Crowning. As I took the extra time to dress her again, curl her hair and use the many bobby pins to secure her crown and veil, I remembered something I shared with a friend, when she asked me about doing my girls’ hair every day. I told her, “I see it as my privilege to help them do their hair, to be fun and creative for a few minutes every day. I hope we look back at all these mornings in the bathroom with great fondness, as I felt it was my honor to assist them every chance I had.” And so as we rushed through the Sunday morning routine, and put more pins in my little Entertainer’s hair, I smiled to myself, thinking, ‘She will never forget these times I played with their hair, talked about big and small things, or got ready for big, special days together. Thank you God.’
My Knight served Mass this day, as again God designed it, and during Mass he rarely made eye contact with us or me to be exact. This day, Mother’s Day, as the sign of peace came, I searched him out. I saw him, but he didn’t know if I was looking or not. He simply looked my way, and made the two finger peace sign in my direction. It was so quick and emotionless, that he thought I had missed it. Then I smiled at him. And his face lit up, he smiled so big in return, and I flashed the same peace sign to him, and I couldn’t stop giggling in my seat. As I turned to my husband to see if he had seen the scene, his face told me his attention was elsewhere. It was a moment just for me. And tears brimmed in my eyes immediately. This eleven year old still needs his Mom – Thank you God.
As Father called my little Entertainer forward, he motioned for me to assist, he handed me the pillow which held Our Lady’s flower crown, which I was meant to deliver with my daughter. Such a detail…to give the flowers to my girl to give to the Mother of us both. It was perfect. She climbed the high ladder in her bright white dress, veil and crown. And as my role dictated, I stood beneath her, to catch her should she trip on her flowing gown. I heard the parish behind us singing a Marian hymn and for a moment, it was all crystal clear, this is a taste of heaven. Thank you, God.
Upon leaving the church, I ran into someone who clearly knew me, but I had never met. She was an older woman, who clearly wanted to tell me something, and she stopped me short of leaving that morning. She said, “What a beautiful family you have! I see your son serving up there, and he’s so young, and small, yet doing his best, serving our Lord. It’s wonderful to see.”
I mumbled a thank you or something to that affect, I suppose. I seem to get speechless when I hear such things,…as I want to tell her all the things I know for certain I am doing wrong with these children, these five little souls that I feel so unworthy to mother. I want to shake her, and say, “Well, if only you spent a day in my home, you might recant!” I want to tell her I spend too much time on their hair in the bathroom they will probably end up so vain! …and I suppose a hundred other things that I feel like I am failing at. And then it hit me, to just hug her….and tell her clearly, “Thank you. Thank you, they are great kids, and we are richly blessed.” For the words to speak, Thank you God.
When I finally got into our van, I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. Mother’s Day is giving to our Moms, yes, I get that. Yet what makes us special is that feminine detail in us to tend to others….Even those we have no relation to. We, as women, give to others, and other women give to us. We tend to the details. We say what needs to be said. We do what needs to be done. We can be warriors and the nurturers when the time calls for each. We see the slightest change in the emotion of one of our young. We sense other’s feelings or needs in so many moments of ordinary days. It’s incredible. As much as I give to others, they give back to me, tending to me, knowing I give to every detail; every detail has been tended to, for me, as well. It’s in our heart, soul and overall make up of our very being. Thank you, God.
Thank you for the many ways you have created us, sensitive and attentive, compassionate yet determined, seeing the needs, filling the needs and sacrificing and serving.
I will never be perfect at this job, but I can see a snippet of God’s design in how he created woman and mother.
It is who I am. It is who I was made to be. On this Mother’s Day 2013, my vision for my own vocation, my own motherhood, gained a new clarity and vision. I tend to the details, I was made for it. And knowing that I may not be perfect, but going in the right direction was the greatest Mother’s Day present a gal could ask for. It’s the string of pearls for my heart and soul. Thank you, God.