Thursday, May 9, 2013

Be A Gracious Mother

The arrowhead necklace and blue heart are presents from my middle son.  During his much anticipated class trip to Lincoln, he lovingly spent all of his souvenir money on me.  Yes, me! 

Needless to say, I was a little bewildered when he offered up his heartfelt treasures the minute he bounced off the bus.  His eyes were twinkling and he was so excited to give me something "real".  Something that he purchased with his money.  Something that Dad or his brothers didn't help choose.  Something to surprise his mother with.

It shocked me. 

I was expecting him to collect odds and ends, little cheap trinkets from all the tourist shops they wandered through.  I thought he would buy chewing gum and magnets.  Not sentimental items for me. 

"Thank you," I uttered. 

A perfectly fine response.  Then I HAD to open my big mouth.  Looking back, I regret my response and wish I handled it better.

"I gave you money to buy things for yourself, not me," I lectured.

Luckily, it was dark in the van and I couldn't see the disappointment darken his hazel eyes. I hadn't considered how terrible my response was until my husband pointed out a startling concept.  As much as I hate to admit it, he was right. 

Here is his mind blowing statement:

"Why can't we do nice things for you?  You always go out of your way to make our days special and he wanted to do something for you.  Just let it go and let the boy treat you the way you treat us."

Please, learn from my mistake. 

Allow the husband and children to lather their love on you.  If they pick dandelions or buy you a bouquet of roses- let them.   If they bring you breakfast in bed-  eat it.  I could go on and on, but I know you get the gist of what I am saying.  Allow them the joy of  helping.  Let them show their appreciation and develop empathy for others. 

As mothers, we are accustomed to putting everyone else first or their needs ahead of ours.  Some of us have had years of practicing this martyrdom and it's become second nature.  We may not even recognize it!  We give the children our dessert or we scrimp pennies so they can go to summer camp.  Isn't that what mother's are supposed to do?

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying we need to become the alpha mother and expect everything to be served to us on fine china.  However, we can take these moments and enjoy them.  Give the experience of loving to your children.  Let them own it and cherish their appreciation. 

So, here is an idea to ponder this Mother's Day: 

Be a gracious mother.