This morning I attended my son's Mother's Day event at his school. He prepped me for this morning in advance, saying to me, "Mom, I hate to say it, but there will be a foot massage. And then we will have breakfast on the blankets and we will give you the rocks we made for you and the bookmarks."
He pretended he didn't care if I went. "It's your choice, mom." Then said he would be sad if I didn't go.
As we walked to his school this morning, he had our picnic blanket and was rather tickled for life. An old man saw him eagerly walking to school with me and they had a little chat. Caleb said to him, "Guess what? I know what 1100 plus 600 is. 1700."
When we got to his class, his teacher Mrs. Manos read us all a book about what Mom's don't do well. One of the points this little story made, was we don't eat breakfast well. Apparently we eat things like bran flakes, tea, or yogurt, which is almost literally what I eat every morning.
After the book, the kids came to sit with their mom's who were sitting in their seats at their tables. They read us the stories they wrote about us. "My mom has black hair. My mom has brown eyes. My mom has a kind heart. I love my mom because she reads stories to me". He even drew me:
She has big lips, an even bigger mouth, big eyes, long full hair, and furrowed in eyebrows similar to that of an Angry Bird. All of this sounds about right.
After he read his story to me that was about me, he came up behind my seat. "What are you doing?", I asked. "Back massage", he stated. His little hands went to work for about two seconds on my shoulders, and then on to the next item of business: The gift. It was a rock glazed with a heart he had made, along with his decorated bookmark. All of which, he forewarned me about. After this, he went to visit with his friends for a bit, and then he showed me around his classroom. He pulled out a book and we sat on the carpet to read. Naturally, a few friends came to sit with us. Then one of the girls snuck off to get a second book lined up for me to read. During the second book, Caleb rose to tell his friends and their moms that his mom was reading to some friends and he, and they should join. He had such a sense of pride about him.
The event came to and end, and the next thing I saw was a rip roaring Caleb running through his playground waving to me. Life can be such a burst of joy, that he can so live in each moment.
Mother's Day, Sunday, was a tougher day to boot with Caleb. He was wiry and wild. We visited our dear friend Amanda's church, to support Audrey on her day of dedication. Then we rushed off to a delicious, fancy lunch my sister set up for my mom and I at Il Forniao. It was lovely, my child was not. He at one point, fell over in his seat, splat right on his back, and laughed. He was in a mood for the first half of the day where he either wanted to cry, or ram his body into walls because it was fun. He laughed heartily while hurling his body like a spaghetti all around.
My sweet friend and colleague in NY has a son who is much older than mine. He is taller than her now. I was briefly recounting the morning to her, and she said to me, "I am sure he is challenging and it gets tiring, but he is yours, and will be the one to lift you up one day". I replied to her with a smile saying, "He lifts me up even now".
I don't know if I win at this mom thing. But I will tell you what-I win at the recognition of this beautiful life we live. It doesn't always feel this way. Sometimes it feels sad. Sometimes in spite of the profound and undeniable ways in which we have been provided for by the Living God, I still have the audacity to feel loss. Sadness. Grief. It doesn't change the fact that God's got this, and that he is bigger. It just means that human beings are complex, and God heals and loves regardless. It also means that it is okay to feel these things. And it is okay to be the mom who waits, and who loves. It's okay to be the mom with the wild boy who shines. No, it is good, truly.
And a note on being lifted up- I am lifted up all the time. I think we all are. By God, by people close and not so close, by nature, by all kinds of things. And this Mother's Day, beyond the rambunctious antics of my son and his sweet life, I was most lifted up by my family, who while we gathered to celebrate my strong lady of a mom, sought to celebrate me too. It was incredibly sweet and kind. It was very much so, generous.