Thursday, May 10, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Who picked the date for Mother's Day? The fact that it falls at the end of the school year, and right on the midst of graduation season, seems like poor planning.

If I had to choose the perfect Mother's Day weekend, it would involve an entire day at the spa, a bottle of riesling, homemade pasta (made by someone else), dark chocolate, reading on a hammock, and hours of uninterrupted rest.

But mothers know that usually our ideal is not reality. So my Mother's Day weekend is planned to go a little something like this: graduation party, camping at the lake, graduation party, graduation party, drive home.

Early in my marriage and mothering, I had very specific ideas of how I wanted things to go. I imagined ideal situations and worked my hardest to make sure they happened just as I had pictured. Through the years, I have had to learn to simply enjoy things as they come (although, I still have a long way to go - ask Gary 30 minutes before we are to host a party). I miss out on so much beauty when I spend all of my energy working to achieve an ideal that is in my mind, rather than enjoying the path laid out before me. The greatest lesson that Gary and my children have taught me is that enjoying every moment, even those moments that are not going according to plan, is what makes a beautiful life.

I could stand my ground this weekend, turn down invitations, send Gary and the kids to camp, while I stay home and live the dream, but what kind of Mother's Day would that be? I would miss seeing family I haven't seen in a while, miss waking up freezing cold on Saturday morning, next to a child who has probably peed in his sleeping bag, miss eating bagels outside while the sun comes up, miss celebrating what it is that makes me a mother. So I will pack the car, load the cooler, eat my weight in graduation cake, and celebrate Mother's Day.

I'm not completely giving up on my vision though. I think when I get home on Sunday night, I'll paint my toenails and drink a glass of wine to celebrate what motherhood has taught me - that you can't plan perfect moments, you just have to live every day in thanksgiving, with your eyes wide open, so you don't miss those moments when they happen.

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