My daughter once teased me that I had been somewhat difficult to raise, but she thought I was really getting there now. I laughed at the idea, but the truth is, I think kids play a big part in helping moms learn the “how” of doing the job. Most moms didn’t actually have a manual when that tiny bundle of joy was placed in their arms and so they had to trust whatever instincts, love, and good sense God gave them and hope that would do the trick. Since most moms have to play nearly every potential role in the process of growing incredible human beings and turning out the future, it’s a pretty daunting task.
This weekend we take the time to honor mothers. The very idea of “mom” comes with a million definitions and probably no two are alike. Some seem to come equipped almost from the time they were kids themselves to take on the role, others adjust and grow into the job right along with that first tender moment when their sweet little cherub spit up all over their favorite blouse. The truth is, like great leaders anywhere, moms are made, shaped and shifted a thousand times in the desire to nurture each child in their care.
I was born to a teenage mom and with all the accompanying drama that a young girl must face having kids early on, I’d say she did a great job. Were her skills well developed? No, but she stuck to the job, always making sure that the essential things were covered. Did she have a Mom Ph.D? No, but she could still mentor and lead and coach and offer her opinion. As a mom, she figured out what she could do and did that part well. She made birthday cakes from scratch, sewed Easter dresses on an old treadle machine, and invited any stray neighbor in for dinner who happened by. She toughed out the hard times, worked at any job that might keep the lights on, and found strength in her faith and in herself when no one else could understand her effort. We all grew up together, raising each other.
It seems to me this mom business is a tapestry with a lot of colorful threads. Not everyone sees the work in the same way, some weave very intentionally, creating the end product with exceptional care. Some weave slowly, not sure what the outcome might be. Some don’t really know how to weave at all, but they hold the threads together in their hand as well as they can. To be sure the mom thing is a tough act and any of us with half way decent moms have every reason to be grateful. What we learned from our mothers, may not always show up in who we are today, but somewhere within us runs the thread of her wisdom, the color of her personality, the imprint of her spirit.
In honor of Mother’s Day, let’s raise mom up, give her a little pedestal, even if it’s just for a day. Let’s give her a standing ovation for the effort she made, the love she poured into us (even when we sometimes weren’t very lovable) and for the invitation to life that she offered us, the chance to grow up and to become who we are. We might need to remind ourselves of the girl she once was, of the woman she grew to be, of the friend she has become…growing with us, weaving threads that could never be replaced, into the new tapestry that we now hold in our hands.
Take a Bow, Moms! As the saying goes, God could not be everywhere, so He created Mothers!
Oh, and, getting back to the quip from my daughter, I just want to note, that I couldn’t be happier than to have been raised by my own amazing kids, for they have truly shaped and molded me, strengthening my spirit, and loving me into becoming all that I am today. Nothing raises me up like that awesome phrase…”Love you, Mom!”