Yesterday was my 12th Mother's Day, so I knew what to expect - homemade necklaces and hand-crafted cards, extra kisses and "nuggles." I also knew what not to expect - breakfast in bed, for example, or expensive presents.
After a decade of celebrations, I've fallen into a comfortable groove. The allure of holidays fade when they start to collapse under their own weight, and so often, my favorite days are the ordinary ones filled with sunshine and laughter and smoothies and late bedtimes. Mother's Day is sweet, but I'm certainly not in it for the kudos. It's like winning the lottery and demanding that someone else throw you a party.
Being a mom in blessing enough.
Mother's Day, to me, is a chance to fall on my knees in gratitude. To refresh my perspective on why I'm doing this and the beauty I often miss in my hurry to get to the beds made, the bodies dressed, the errands run. On Mother's Day, I determine to be more present.
So yesterday, when Teyla wanted to go to church with Corey and me instead of Sunday school, I shook off the irritation and treasured her company. I held her on my lap for half the sermon and inhaled her silky hair. I accepted picture after picture emblazoned with brightly colored hearts and "Mom" and "XO XO XO."
After church, I found myself studying Natalie and her changing profile. I still see my baby in there, but she's fast becoming young woman, all limbs and long hair. At bedtime, she came upstairs and offered to put Teyla to bed for me.
Connor asked me repeatedly during the day if we might drive by a vending machine at some point. It wasn't until after dinner and he unloaded his pockets packed with crumpled dollars that he admitted he wanted the vending machine so he could buy me an extra present. I took a big hug from my tender-hearted boy instead.
And then Kieran, at dinner, snuggled in my lap as he always does. I asked Corey to take a picture of us, and I said, half-jokingly, "Say cheese, Kieran!" because what child smiles on demand? And sure enough, instead of smiling, he turned to me and burped in my face. Then he smiled.
This is motherhood. The messy, the mundane, the long hours, the unrelenting needs. But it is also pure joy, deep love, little hands that circle your neck in the most intense and sincere acceptance you've ever known.
The best part? I woke up this morning determined to do it all again.
Everyday is Mother's Day.