Tuesday, May 28, 2013

the thread of love {mother's day 2013}

it was Mother's Day, 2010 and i was blow drying my hair, getting ready for church, while my husband lay in bed with one of the worst ear infections i have ever seen on a human--adult or child.   he had just returned from a week-long, all-male vacation to the beach and went straight to bed.

i wanted to feel badly for him, really i did.  but as the blasting air from the blow dryer heated my hair, i could feel the indignation heating my emotions, sending them spinning from one entitled and ungrateful thought to the next.

last year he worked graveyard shift and came home to sleep while i went to church alone with the kids, only to wake up to eat the dinner i made, then showered and left for his next overnight shift.  i spent the whole day with a colicky newborn and a whiny, overly-tired toddler on my own.  no gifts, no card, nothing!  and now here i am again.  on my own, getting myself and two kids ready for 9 a.m. church, alone.  and i will be left with all of the responsibilities, meals, care-taking.  this is supposed to be my day, when i'm celebrated for carrying our two children for over 9 months, relinquishing my body to stretching and aching--

wah, wah, wah.  spiral, spiral, spiral.  you get the idea.  i don't often think these things, but i'm embarrassed to say i did that day.

then, something happened.

i turned off the blow dryer, and felt the heat dissipate inside and outside.  i looked in the mirror at my flushed cheeks and saw into my own eyes.

this is not you.  regardless of circumstances, you have a choice.  those two beautiful kids you adore are and who are waiting for you to feed and dress them, they love you and look to you as their example.  you love that good man who is laying in bed in pain, yet you're thinking some awful things about him.  what is Truth?  and how can you spend this day?  you are blessed beyond measure to have the privilege of kissing these three faces every day.  and your ability to honor them shows in not only your actions, but in your thoughts.  in your heart.  and if this is how your heart really feels, then you do not deserve them.  so.  what is Truth?

i washed my flushed cheeks with cold water and came to my senses.

i made a choice to rotate my thinking and my heart, and chose to live Mother's Day consciously.  the rest of the day i spent in the detail of every moment, big and large.  i was in caleb's pure, clear, voice belting out the words of the Mother's Day song in the chapel like it was his own solo.  i was in leah's soft hands on my face, and her golden curls as she fell asleep on my shoulder.  i was in lunchtime and book reading and calling our home teachers to administer a blessing for ben who was too weak to even sit up as they prayed.  i was in making soup and bringing medicine.  i was in bath time bubbles and giggles and squeals.  i was in lullabies sang under the soft glow of the night light.  i was in "i love you's" and "i can't wait until you wake up so we can play together again," then cleaning up toys and dishes, and quiet.

in honoring my children as their mother, that day i also honored Truth and the beauty in my life.  it was a day i will never forget as life-changing because of what i was taught while blowdrying my hair.  there is power in attitude and thought, and there is always a choice.

THIS was the picture i took that day.  caleb was feeding leah green beans, and she pointed at him to say something, right as he turned his face into hers.  her finger landed in his nostril and i laughed for 5 minutes to realize i had captured the moment.  i still love this picture, and the memories of that day.

now every year i remember {and tell each of them, if they want to hear it--caleb always does, and asks me streams of questions along the way.  leah tells me one day she will give birth to a baby dolphin.  june interrupts me a million times with "mom! momma! mom! mommy!  wook at dis!"} the details of when i was blessed to bring a child into the earth and the stories remind me of God's presence still in my life, feeling it as distinctly as i did those three separate times in a small hospital room-- acutely aware of Him and my connection with Him.  my children are tied to me with this same unbreakable, eternal thread.  the thread that was made with unbreakable, eternal love.

this year, the girls in the family were all hit with the stomach flu for the weekend, and by sunday we were mostly feeling better. ben was amazing--cleaning the entire house--literally, and doing all of the laundry as i would try to join in here and there, but mainly helped the sick girls and tried to rest.

i was able to sleep in, and when i woke up, i was greeted with homemade cards--my favorite.  ben had made a really sweet slideshow for me, and the kids gave me small presents they had chosen.  leah's was a pony--what else?  i loved that she buys me these things because she believes i love them and playing them with her as much as she does.  melts my heart.

june still wasn't feeling great and was extra clingy and whiny, but i focused on her little arms and legs wrapped tightly around me every chance she got, and how lucky i was to be the one to comfort her.

caleb, leah and i went to church.  i led the kids in singing for the first time in front of the ward and was terrified, but they did great.  after church we took the mother's day pictures which ended quickly after june arched her head in defiance right into my lower lip.

i spent time with each kid one on one.....playing legos and talking with caleb, playing ponies and imagining with leah, and laying in my bed under the covers snuggling june.  the day wasn't without the usual fights and whines, but it didn't matter to me.

i know in the grand scheme of things, i'm still young in motherhood and that each new phase brings rewards as well as trials, but i could not be more grateful for these three beautiful, bright, hilarious little people, and the thread of love that will connect us forever.


Rachel Chick said...

This makes me happy and inspires me to be a better mom. Thank you!

Fawn said...

I love this Lynsey Lou. You are so honest, I love it! OH and good luck to Leah & giving birth to that dolphin.