Her Gift to Silly Kids
It is early, and I hear my boys playing together in their room. I can't make out the words, but I can hear the squeals and giggles that usually happen after one says a potty joke. (Some moms don't like potty jokes, but right now I say a little boy and a little potty joke kinda belong together every once in a while. Sometimes I think, "Maybe I should stop this talk before it takes a turn for the worse.." and most of the time I think, "To them, in this moment, I'm a buddy...I get the joke. I like feeling like a buddy to them every once in a while.") I hear the giggles and can picture those cute little open mouthed smiles and messy bedheads. Eventually I hear the crying from some playing that got a little too rough or a brother that got a little too bossy.
Her Gift to Sibling Rivalry
I walk in to their room and greet them with a huge smile and the words, "MY BOYS!!!!" They quickly fill me in on the reason for the crying: someone spit, someone "accidentally" punched. I run down the parenting arsenal in my head, "lecture, consequences, praise, ignoring, kindness, disappointment." I choose distraction because it is early and that seems easy. (Some moms might have a built in consequence and always be consistent, but right now I am about 60% consistent on a good day, and I'll take it).
Her Gift to Bath Time
They decide to take a bath. I love to see their little morning faces all rosy and sleepy playing in the bath water. Something about a morning bath always makes me feel like I am doing alright as a mom. Slow mornings just feel good. (Some moms might wash their kids off with organic tearless soap every time, but ours usually end in crying because I always forget to buy kid soap and regular soap should just be called "torture" I guess. I like to think about all the money I have saved by forgetting to buy it the last 937 times I have been to the grocery store.)
Her Gift to Storytime
After breakfast we cuddle up on the couch to read a book. I like to know that I don't have anywhere to rush to so that I can see their huge smiles every time I say, "Yes!" to another book, another book, another book. There are lots of mornings where I can't quite sit still, but the ones that I decide to are usually my favorite. I am often late to things and never seem to plan out my timing quite right. (One day this will probably drive these boys crazy. They will think, "Why is my mom always the late one?" Right now they love it. They love that I get lost in another book with them.)
Her Mother's Day Gift to Herself
I don't do motherhood like some mothers. In fact, I don't do motherhood like ANY other mother. I heard a favorite author* of mine say that people are always so worried about being really good and really original. Instead, what if we just worried about being really ourselves? AUTHENTICITY is where the magic happens. Any mom can get on a computer or phone and look at all the ways she could do it better or different. An authentic mom looks at the computer and phone and celebrates that there are lots of different ways to do the same job, and that she has found the freedom and gumption to do it HER way. Her way might be a little messier or crazier or later or stricter or sillier or grumpier or sleepier, but it is hers. The best part about being an authentic mom is knowing that her kids love HER. They don't love the mom with all the cool party ideas or the mom with the sweetest voice or the mom with the fun snacks. They love HER. Sure, those other moms might be fun for a good play date, but when those kids of hers are sick or tired or cuddly or scared or wanting the best hug in the world, they only want her. They might complain about her way every once in a while (or every minute). Sure, she might get an eye roll when she does that weird voice. Sometimes they might cry for the cooler party or the smiley face quesadilla. Kids always think they like that kind of crap. But the authentic mom, she knows. She knows that what they REALLY like, what they will want forever... after the parties are over... and the smiley face quesadilla is "so last year"...all they will really like... is her.
*Elizabeth Gilbert is the author I like and she was interviewed on the podcast The Robcast Episode 21. She talks about authenticity vs. originality in respect to creativity and writing. It is such a wonderful listen!