I’m sitting here this post-Mother’s Day morning reading all the social media posts to mothers and about mothers. I know the intent behind each one. To honor. To express gratitude. To put words to feelings. And many face-to-face gatherings took place as well, and we’re all still thinking about those today.
And here’s why all those expressions might be more important than you know: because we all went into this with hopes and dreams and a desire to be the best mom that ever lived. And then our children were born. And we realized we had no idea what was happening. With the birth of subsequent children, we thought we had something figured out. Only to find out each child was completely different than the other(s). At some point, we kinda threw the books away.
So, we did the best we could. We did some things right and we did many things wrong. And we want to know that grace has helped them remember the right and be not so clear about the wrong. We want them to remember how much we loved them then, and how we continue to love them with all we got. Grace is our ace in the hole. And those messages, dinners, cards, and flowers mean that grace is doing her thing.
I read something by Ann Voscamp recently that articulated this so clearly, so honestly, and so vulnerably that I thought I’d post an abbreviated version. It might not be every mother’s words, but I think it’s more universal than we think.
Yeah — if you’re being gut honest here — you don’t really want the cards or the flowers…What you really wanted is to be extraordinarily, obviously, good at this. At this mothering thing. You wanted to be the best at this.
You wanted to be more patient — you wanted to never lose it, to always have it together, to keep calm and that is all, always…You wanted more flashes of wisdom in the heat of the moment when you had no bloody idea what was the best thing to do, [the times] you crawled into bed feeling like you always gets it wrong when everyone else gets it right.
You’d about give your eye teeth and your left arm for more time. More time to get it more right and less wrong. What you really want, desperately, wildly, in spite of everything — is for them to remember the good…. to remember enough of the times you whispered, “I Love You” … to know how hard you really tried.
All you want? Is for them to feel a deep sense of safety, that they are safe to trust people, safe to dream large, safe to believe, safe to try, safe to love large and go fly — and you need to know that you haven’t wrecked that…What every mother wants, her most unspoken need — is a truckload of Grace. Grace that buries her fears that her faith wasn’t enough, and that her faults were too many….
So, all those posts and messages and flowers and time spent…what they’re really saying is that maybe, just maybe, things are actually falling together. And, after all those years, that’s what we really want to know. A big thank you to all of you who cheered us on yesterday. You did a really good thing.