The first few years I celebrated Mother’s Day it was all about the TLC. In other words, it was all about me.
I looked forward to it with such anticipation you’d think nobody ever did anything nice for me. I couldn’t wait to see what my husband would cook up when the kids were tiny. Cute cards, a special breakfast and a day off from everything a mother does in a day.
As the kids got older we took the day a bit further and went out to brunch, where the kids would show off their best manners and mommy would sip champagne and look at their beautiful handmade gifts.
Now, as I sit here wondering what tricks the kids and their dad have up their sleeves for this Mother’s Day, I start to think about what they are celebrating. What kind of mom do they think I am? And what kind of mom do I want to be?
All of the obvious adjectives come to mind: Words like kind, loving and patient. But I wondered more about my legacy as a mom.
And then I started to panic.
Would my kids remember as the mom who sent them off to school with their underwear on backwards, or the mom who put on the Laurie Berkner Band DVD so she could have 20 minutes to nap? And while we are knee deep in my parenting failures, why don’t we recall the time I took my son to the wrong birthday party spot, or the time I ordered a Margarita, drank it and then watched in horror as my son enjoyed the ice from it! I, of course, completely overreacted but the rest of the table thought it was hilarious.
But, as much as I hate these moments of parenting stupidity, I find it hard to believe that these moments are what my kids think of when they think of mom. So, I asked them. The answers I got made my day, and is really what Mother’s Day is all about now.
Here are a few of their responses:
“I like when you jump in my bed and talk about the day”
“I think you make the best dinners and French toast too”
“I like when you do my hair and get all of the knots out”
“I like the way you smell”
“I like when we walk to town and get ice cream”
“You’re the best back scratcher”
“I like when you sing to me”
Now, after almost seven years, I have a handle on the kind of mom I want to be. I don’t want to be my kids' best friends, but I also don’t want to be a scary dictator that they can’t relate to.
I want to relax (still working on this one) and not sweat the small stuff. I want to get on the floor and play with them and spontaneously take them to ice cream on the way home from school for no reason (did that last month) and hold them tight when they cry. I want to be honest with them about the things I did and learned as a child. But, most of all, I want them to be proud that I am their mom and not cringe at the thought of turning into me. After all, I turned out a lot like my mom and I am OK with that. Very OK.
Happy Mother’s Day.