What a sweet day today has been. The boys school had a Mother's Day luncheon for all the mommy's of Kindergartners today. We waited until they allowed us to go down to the classrooms and then got to go in. The boys teacher, Mrs. Lavinka, had the room decorated so nice. She had a "big" chair for the moms and the children's little chairs for them. When we arrived to the classroom the kids were out playing while Mrs. Lavinka shared with us some ideas and a story. As I sat and listened to the story I tried to think of something else because I could feel the tears building up in my eyes. I didn't want to cry but I couldn't hold it any longer. As I looked around the room, I quickly noticed I wasn't the only mom trying to hold back tears and failing miserably. So, because this story is not only very sweet but it is so true. Here is the story:
A young mother writes: "I know you've written before about the empty-nest syndrome, that lonely period after the children are grown and gone. Right now I'm up to my eyeballs in laundry and muddy boots. The baby is teething; the boys are fighting. My husband just called and said to eat without him, and I fell off my diet. Lay it on me again, will you?"
OK. One of these days, you'll shout, "Why don't you kids grow up and act your age!" And they will. Or, "You guys get outside and find yourselves something to do . . . and don't slam the door!" And they won't.
You'll straighten up the boys' bedroom neat and tidy: bumper stickers discarded, bedspread tucked and smooth, toys displayed on the shelves. Hangers in the closet. Animals caged. And you'll say out loud, "Now I want it to stay this way." And it will.
You'll prepare a perfect dinner with a salad that hasn't been picked to death and a cake with no finger traces in the icing, and you'll say, "Now, there's a meal for company." And you'll eat it alone.
You'll say, "I want complete privacy on the phone. No dancing around. No demolition crews. Silence! Do you hear?" And you'll have it.
No more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghetti. No more bedspreads to protect the sofa from damp bottoms. No more gates to stumble over at the top of the basement steps. No more clothespins under the sofa. No more playpens to arrange a room around.
No more anxious nights under a vaporizer tent. No more sand on the sheets or Popeye movies in the bathroom. No more iron-on patches, rubber bands for ponytails, tight boots or wet knotted shoestrings.
Imagine. A lipstick with a point on it. No baby-sitter for New Year's Eve. Washing only once a week. Seeing a steak that isn't ground. Having your teeth cleaned without a baby on your lap.
No PTA meetings. No car pools. No blaring radios. No one washing her hair at 11 o'clock at night. Having your own roll of Scotch tape.
Think about it. No more Christmas presents out of toothpicks and library paste. No more sloppy oatmeal kisses. No more tooth fairy. No giggles in the dark. No knees to heal, no responsibility.
Only a voice crying, "Why don't you grow up?" and the silence echoing, "I did."
I find myself crying just as I write the story. I get compliments all the time about how well mannered and well behaved my boys are and what a sweet baby Maggie is, but I am the first one to get on to them when they slip up and forget to do something. I have to stop and remember that my boys are a gift from God. They are not good children because I made them that way, they are good children because of God. I should not take the praise when someone compliments me but, give the praise to God. He deserves the glory! After all, I didn't make myself a mom. He allowed me to become one. He has guided me and shown me, even if it did mean learning from my own mistakes at times. I am so thankful to celebrate my 6th Mother's Day this coming Sunday. I love my children so much.