Since Mother’s Day is coming up in a few days, I thought I would write YOU all a love letter. I am going to color outside the lines a little bit and make it a love letter, a list of what I want to do to be a better mom, and a list of why you guys are the best kids in the world. There will be some randomness thrown in so that you all know I’ve put my random mark on it, i.e. its not from just any mom, but your mom. (You grammar police go away. I know I used random twice for emphasis).
So here goes…
You three are really something. You always have been. Something beautiful, unique and embedded in my flesh and on the walls of my heart. (No comments from you three like oh mom you are getting all mushy on us.) That’s why its my letter. I get to write my feelings on paper. But oh what subject matter I have been given. It started with this. Just Dad and I. But I have already explained all of that to ya’ll.
And all the moments.The mini-moments and micro moments and humongous moments have been distinctly ours because we are us. We are a tribe of five. All the learning and loving could have only happened as it did because of you three. You restored hope, you were miracles, you increased faith. Each step you took, moment you breathed, emotion you expressed poured you onto the canvas creating this painting . This art. This that is our lives. Abstract, bold, colorful, screaming love and shouting grace.
Each one of you getting up and doing family every day. Bringing and offering and using your unique gifts. I chase you around with the eyes of my heart trying to clumsily love you. I stumble and fall and trip up pressing in a truth and repeating my mistakes, repeating my love. Crying out love. Doing parenting sloppily, in my less-than-perfectness. Radically receiving your love every day. You give it so gentle. You give it so perfect. Because you all are life givers and life restorers. You look like miracles to my heart. You walk out His love and your father’s love and my love with flesh and bones.
And lately I follow you around with my camera. You shout and hide and say enough is enough. But capturing you all doing life, eating it up with your passion is now my passion. Swallowing it whole without chewing and running down the good race with endurance like an athlete is my desire. Your lives are something that should be saved and captured. To hold dear. And hold on to. For more than split seconds. You are my prize. You are my glory. You are gift. You are so much more than I can clumsily say.
If I could make perfect sweet tea, I’d make it by the gallon to show my love. If I could bite my tongue and never raise my voice to show my love I would. If I could laugh and smile at every small thing you say and do to show you how much I adore you three I would. If every favorite shirt and uniform were always clean and folded, all socks matched and every note signed pronto I would give you that. But I cannot go back, can’t bottle up the yuck. Can’t re-do the what I did. Can’t wash the dirty down the drain with the dishwater. It’s just there in the mix, all mixed up with the love and the good intentions to love better and more.
So here is the part where I thank you for your grace, because you give it out and show it well. Though you learned from one who was flawed and broken and full of sin. Wrecklessly extending grace, upon grace. And tender Mercy. Like He does. You all do that well.
And this is the part where I ask forgiveness for my shortcomings and tell you how sorry I am. And this is where I tell you a funny thing so you will laugh. Because you know I love Pooh and if you don’t you should. And now you know if you didn’t.
“Oh Tigger where are your manners? I don’t know but I bet they’re having more fun than I am.” (A.A. Milne) There were those hundreds of times I reminded and prodded and begged and browbeat. You know they are important. I will never stop telling you so.
I know a wise young girl who told me once, “smile and laugh and we will smile and laugh with you.” She just happens to be my own precious one. So wise beyond her years. I can’t wait to do more of that.
I wish some things, in my memory and in my heart. I wish that I could read “Goodnight Moon” a billion more times, while I breathe in your sweet smells and feel you cozied in on my lap. You can turn the pages. I want to dive into “The Very Hungary Caterpillar.’ We can swim from page to page together, with you saying the words in tandem with my breathe. We can read— together, we can go slow there is no need to rush. I will never again say those painful words, can you wait a minute. Because you shouldn’t. You should have the all of me.
I hope you heard the parts about kindness, honesty, faithfulness, gentleness and doing your best. I hope you heard me teaching you this when it sounded like preaching. And when I wasn’t any of these things myself.
When I told you not to take the path of least resistance and mediocre was not acceptable. I hope you know that somewhere hidden in all that was a sliver like the new moon of love. Me loving you into all good things. Me wanting for you, all the best.
And now you would say that I didn’t follow the outline. And like when I say grace over the food, its just way too long. You would say now that it’s time to wind down even though I have a trillion more things to say. And no, I am not exaggerating.
I didn’t get a chance to say one more time to make good decisions, wear your seat belt, and all my other annoying one liners.
But since it is my letter and I am in control of the keyboard and little else, I can say that you amaze me, you teach me, and that my love for you is deep and wide. It can never be like His love for us. He loves you more. And you should remember that if little else of this mother’s day letter to you, my children. My gifts from the giver of awesome gifts.
You delight, you surprise, you amaze me in so many ways. This lover of words is out of them now. And to mothers everywhere I say love hard, love deep, love well. And welcome with outstretched arms the surprises, the tomorrows and the right around the corner moments.