When I was young my siblings and I used to love making a big deal of my mum for Mother's Day. We'd make soggy toast for her to eat in bed and I'd spend the afternoon 'pampering her' by pulling her hair out with a brush. I'm not sure how my mum felt but we thought we were class. This year my dear mother is working and whilst she was out I stole a pot noodle from her cupboard... that's as exciting as it's going to get. (Until later this week when we're both free and both childless and will both stuff our faces with dessert.)
This mother's day morning I was not awakened by soggy toast but by a very lanky Reuben kicking me in the back and demanding his pink dummy because the white one he'd had in his mouth all night apparently wasn't the 'right' one... but he only had this sudden urge to tell me at 5 am. After I searched the whole house for the precious pink one and found it in the car outside, I returned to my cosy bed and told him to get back to sleep.
2 minutes later he flung his arm across my face, with two of his fingers reaching up my nose to tell me he needed a glass of milk. And judging by the utter desperation in his voice he seemed to think the world was about to implode if he didn't have this glass of milk. After I trudged down the stairs again, tripping over my own feet and almost knocking myself out, I retrieved the milk and stood at my bedside offering the milk to his highness and begging for his approval so I could go back to sleep. He took one look at the glass, one look at me, and threw himself across the bed screaming, 'I DIDN'T WANT MILK, I WANTED WATER'. In my fragile, sleep-deprived state, I almost (ALMOST) thought, 'WELL I DIDN'T WANT KIDS UNTIL I WAS 40 BUT WE DONT ALWAYS GET WHAT WE WANT'... I very quickly rebuked that thought, got the water (from the tap in the bathroom - sorry Reubs), and finally went back into a deep slumber for another couple of hours.
When I eventually woke up properly I asked Reuben to say 'Happy Mother's Day', to which he replied, 'I don't think so...' Kids know how to keep you humble, don't they?
The shaky start aside, I still LOVE Mother's Day and celebrating all the awesome women I have the privilege of knowing. I've had the best weekend doing just that. But the last couple of days I've been thinking about all the mothers in our big unconventional family;
The women who have been there, done it, and are willing to lend me their wisdom-filled t-shirt. The women who have kids who tolerate my kid and we find sanity and solace in being 'mummy friends'. The women who don't have kids but have mothered Reuben as if he was their own. The women who don't have kids and continue to mother me as if I'm their own. The women who mother me every single day with their Jesus-centred friendship (and chocolate).
'Mothering' is much more powerful when we use it as a verb and mothering certainly takes on many shapes and forms. I had planned to buy cards for all the mothers in my life but when I thought about it I realised I'd be buying one for every woman I know. They have all mothered, loved, nurtured, encouraged, mentored, challenged, taught, and walked alongside me in their different ways. So here's to ALL women - who are uniquely gifted, continuously nurturing, and equally worthy of celebration... whether you've pushed a giant baby out of your cervix or not. Happy Mother's Day!