"What do you want for Mother's Day?" Captain Fun asked me several nights ago after family devotions.
The answer came easily. "A whole, entire, complete day off...from Hope."
I adore Hope. In fact, the more children I have, the more precious those early childhood years become. But as I told the ladies at Grove Avenue Baptist MOPS this week, I have had a preschooler in some form for 27 years, and sometimes I feel like I am just about to die from exhaustion.
But then Mother's Day comes (hallelujah), and relaxation is forced upon me. My kids won't let me do dishes. And they practically tackle me if they catch me carrying laundry to the laundry room. Bethany put Hope down for her nap, and someone else will get her up. And don't dare let Captain Fun catch anyone asking me to do anything for them on this day.
In the last 24 hours, I have received roses, chocolate, a gift card to Bone Fish (going there for dinner), shampoo, make up, lotion, coffee, and many other gifts that make a mother feel appreciated.
And then there's the cards. Oh, the cards!
"You are so patient. You don't complain. You cook such elaborate meals. The older I get, the more I understand all you've done for us. You're a great listener. You're smart. You're funny. Thank you for taking care of us. Thanks for all you did for me while I was growing up. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."
Many years ago I worked part time for the US Postal Service. Two young kids would come in to see me almost every time I was there. One of them even started calling me Mama. Their teeth were rotten, their clothes were dirty, their hair was greasy and tangled, and they were often eating candy for breakfast. Why? Because their mother had deserted them. She wasn't there to wash their clothes, brush their teeth, comb their hair, or forbid candy at 8 a.m.
Seeing those kids regularly for several years taught me something. It taught me not to underestimate my role, my significance, my importance in the lives of my children. And that the million things I do every day? They matter.
I love a day off. It is what all mothers want on Mother's Day, really. An official, intentional, real, live day off. And today I have one. If you're a mom, I hope you have one, too.
But tomorrow when we all hit the floor running again, remember with me why we do what we do. Don't lose sight of the significance of those million things we do every day.
What a difference they make.
"A wise woman builds her house, but a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands."
Hope and her brother, Cory. You can see why I want a day off.