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I got my Mother’s Day gift early this year.

Last year, Mother’s Day was more of a study in who believed it counted as my first Mother’s Day as a mom.  Thankfully, most folks recognized it.  And while I did experience the holiday in a whole new way with a baby inside, the majority of my own celebration was in anticipation of this year, when I’d get a hug—instead of a kick to the ribs—from my little one.  The other night, I finally got just that.

I was preparing dinner, and because the oven wasn’t on yet, I let Jacob come in the kitchen and hang out with me.

(It would be nice if there were a photo here, but I was cooking, so just picture a cute little boy in duckie jammies on the floor of a kitchen, okay?)

He crawled around, giggling like he does (which is like a madman), and tried to pull up on various things—the fridge, a cabinet, and then, in the very best moment of my entire life thus far, the backs of my legs.  As I chopped a tomato, I felt two warm, precious little hands grab on to my jeans midway up my calves.  I looked down to see his smiling face trying to eat my legs first, of course.  When that didn’t work out, he pulled himself up onto his knees, steadying himself on me, still giggling, still bubbling over with enthusiasm and happiness for his new ability, and, I like to think, for being so close to me.

It seems a mundane story as I write about it now, but in that moment, absorbed in his smiling face, giggling voice, and warm little hands wrapped around my legs, I thought to myself, he’s choosing me.  There were plenty of toys to play with in the living room, but he wanted to be in the kitchen with me, touching me, smiling with me.  I loved my little boy from the start, for sure, but there is something beyond special about interacting with him.  Some people say he has a smile he saves just for me, but I don’t often recognize it.  When I’m away from him for a while, he doesn’t burst with joy when he sees me again, like he does for John when he comes home from work.  But maybe he already knows I’ll always be there for him.  And whether his brain has grasped object permanence or not, he knows it’s okay if I’m away for a little bit, because it won’t be long, and I’ll always be back.  At least, I hope that’s the case.

This year, I find Mother’s Day is not so much about people appreciating me, but about me appreciating all the beautiful things motherhood has brought into my life.  That same night I was finishing up my evening prayers when John came home.  He started to play with Jacob, and in an instant they were both smiling and giggling, and I felt so complete.  The act of simply watching them and listening to them became my prayer—a prayer of thanksgiving and praise, of gratitude and love.

Being a mom is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me.  It has made the best things in my life (my marriage, my family, my faith) even better.  It has made me stronger, made me happier, made me more grateful for every moment of every day.

To all the moms—expectant and otherwise—who I’ve met and visited with over the past year, thank you for making this journey all the more enjoyable.  To my own mom (and mother-in-law!), grandma, and aunts, thank you for being such wonderful examples of strong, compassionate women.  And to John and Jacob, thank you for making me a mom.

Enjoy this lovely weekend, friends, and be sure to tell your mom you love and appreciate her.

Happy Mother’s Day!

  1. Rebecca says:

    I love what you said about this mother’s day not being about you being appreciated so much as you appreciating everything that’s come into your life with being a mom. I feel the same way. Granted, I still want the really sweet/touching present from Brad! But, this whole past week I’ve just been internalizing all the wonderfulness that being a mom entails. Tomorrow’s going to be a pretty cool day….I hope you have a fantastic first Mother’s Day!

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