Life gifted me with a precious child 32 years ago. I think until you experience parenting there is nothing you can even remotely compare it to and the amazing experience that it is. It impacts every aspect of your life. With Mother's Day quickly approaching I find myself, as I have for many years, reflecting on having been a parent and thought I would share some of the Mother's Day gifts my son shared with me.
When he was 15 months old I was newly separated and finding my way around the world of single parenting. My father was staying with us for the Mother's Day weekend from out of town, so he could visit my Grandmother. On Mother's Day morning he took Jeff for a walk in his stroller so that I could have a quiet morning coffee. When they returned Jeff was beaming as he held tightly in his tiny fist a bunch of wildflowers that he and G'mpa had picked during their walk. The smile on his face just melted me.
When he was 5 I was woken up by the milk from a bowl of cheerios as it was slopping across my face, and a giggling smiling boy standing over me as he was bringing me breakfast in bed. You just can't get mad at the thoughtfulness. He was so proud of himself. We spent a morning in bed, cuddled under blankets together, eating cheerios and reading books.
At six, we were leaving the garden shop when he asked me to stop the car and park again. I was instructed to stay in the car as he went back into the store. After 5 minutes I was beginning to worry and was just on my way out of the car to retrieve him, when my son emerged, again with a smile. In his hands he carefully carried a viola plant wrapped with ribbon and pink foil. Happy Mother's Day he announces! Unknown to me he had brought his allowance to the store.Apparently the lady in the store helped him with the ribbon. He was so excited that he remembered and that I had stopped so he could shop. I was almost in tears at the thoughtfulness.
Years passed with many breakfasts in bed and as he grew older the meals changed from cereal to toast to yogurt and eggs. The first year he was away from home on Mother's Day, I mean really away, attending a year of university in South Africa, was really tough. But a few days after Mother's Day, delayed by the postal service, came a beautiful card with a message from my son. And with it came a flood of memories of all the other years celebrated together.
As he and my daughter-in-law now lives overseas we haven't had a Mother's Day together in many years but I always find myself reflecting on the day. Thinking not so much about the physical gifts that were given, but the thoughts that went with them. This beautiful child, now a man, is the reason that I get to celebrate being a Mother and all the gifts, life lessons and experiences that has brought into my life (and continues to bring). He has grown into a kind and thoughtful man. It's been incredible and while I miss him beyond measure, I really do count myself so blessed.
So I wish a Happy Mother's Day to all those who have the experience to nurture and be nurtured by the precious beings in their lives.