Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Heart Full of Thanks

Thanks. Just thanks.

That's about all I can think of to say about today. Because today was great.

If you know me very well you would know that I'm not a big fan of Mother's Day. Or my birthday. Or any other day which would require people looking at me.

I'm not a big fan of attention.

Or Mother's Day.

In the past, especially when my girls were very young, the best present anyone could have given me was a day off. It sounds absolutely horrible to even say it, but two of my favorite Mother's Days when the girls were really young were the days when 1) I went to see a movie with my friend, Cheryl, and 2) I played nine holes of golf with my mom.

I had a bit of trouble getting used to this mothering thing. It took about 10 years before I even became comfortable being called "Mom." Just kidding. It took about five years, but still . . .

Anyway, I think you get the picture. Mother's Day has been hard for me in the past. It felt like a day when all the put-together moms were wearing corsages to church and smiling all pretty and had skirts that were actually ironed.

Me? I felt like the mom who was barely holding it all together and who was on the verge of tears most Sundays at church and who didn't have time to iron her skirt.

Suddenly, though, my girls have grown up. I actually have time to iron . . . when I feel like it. And now I actually long to spend time with my kids.

After church today we all went to a nearby restaurant that you might call just a little bit "fancy." It's the nicest place my girls will see all year, I'll guarantee you that. The girls dressed up, just for me. They ordered from the grownup menu, just for me. They behaved, just for me. (Just kidding about that last one. I'm always proud to take them out.)

And now we're getting to the reason today was so special. It wasn't about the fancy lunch. Or the beautiful flowers that were delivered for me yesterday. Or the thoughtful gift that the girls thought of all by themselves and bought for me.

In the middle of lunch, someone (I don't remember who) suggested that everyone go around and tell their most favorite "Mom memory" from the past year.

Well, definitely, bring it on!

Abby talked about how I took her to the Taste of Chicago last summer. Just the two of us. And how much she appreciated that I took the time to take just her, alone.

Kate talked about our trip to Switzerland and how much she enjoyed watching me take the lead on that trip. She said I showed a lot of strength.

Maggie said she likes it that I pick her up for lunch every Friday and we get to spend an hour together in the middle of the day. (Those lunches will be coming to an end soon, unfortunately, since middle school is coming quickly.)

And B even had something to add. He said his best memory of me from the past year actually happened yesterday (the long-term memory is going, folks!) when we fixed our wooden gate together and didn't get into a fight while doing it. Yes, wonders truly never cease!

As someone whose love language is words of affirmation, I could not have received a better gift. Everything else could have been wiped away--the lunch, the flowers, the gift (although I am looking forward to that massage). If you just left me with those precious moments around the table, my day would have been complete. Perfect in every way.

Because, you see, my family took the time to tell me that what I am doing with them, for them, is making a difference to them. They blessed me with their words today, and I promise you I won't soon forget them.

And for that I thank them.


  1. Happy Mother's Day to one of the best moms I know! The girls are living proof of that.

  2. Moms who have time to iron their skirts. Wow. You know my soul. Great blog Shell. You must have 3 incredible girls which means you are an awesome mom! I'm glad you had such a great day. You deserve it!!! Love you!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing, Shelly, and giving me a little perspective about what motherhood (and marriage!) might look like a few years (okay, like 15 years) down the road. I never iron my skirt, but I'm pretty sure I still wouldn't even if I had the time. I'm looking forward to the day when we can go out to lunch after church without worrying about naptime meltdowns. And doing a project together with my husband without some sort of grumpiness from one of us would be a miracle. Yeah, maybe in 15 years.

  4. This is beautiful. Your writing invites the reader into your heart. I am stretching myself to be more vulnerable and open in my writing too... it's an interesting thing looking for the balance of TMI and surface. You strike the balance so well. I think I'll hang around you and learn. : )

  5. Wow. Thanks, friends, for all of your sweet comments. Julie and Linda, I take no credit for those girls--you know that. Linnea, you are a fantastic mother and will be again soon! I can't wait! The days of not being needed so much will come much too quickly. And, Beverly, I really appreciate your words. Yes, let's hang out . . . in your neck of the woods. :)

  6. I love the stories that your family shared about you...absolutely beautiful!

    I have not left a comment since we met in Houston at the Blogging Breakfast...thought I would stop by today and say HI!!

    Take care,
    Veronica "Vern" Hutcherson