I know it's just called Mother's 'Day', but I feel like this whole month is dedicated to the joys of being a mother. Baseball season has begun and while that doesn't seem like a mother-centric activity I find it enjoyable to be "forced" outside, I enjoy watching my boys have fun playing, I enjoy connecting with the other adults on the bench, and I get to do it all because I'm a mother. I know that sports can only take up so much of a life and it shouldn't be our focus and there are more important things to do...but, my kids LOVE to throw balls and hit ball and catch them and watching them and playing with them is part of what I love about being their mother.
I enjoy the flowers that start opening up in May. I just love the apple blossoms, the hyacinths, daffodils, and tulips, and the proliferation of white flowers covering the forest floor all around us--the trilium that my children call "mothers day flowers".
I love getting out on Sunday afternoons and finding trails to hike. We've been doing this since before we were married and have listened to a myriad of whines and complaints about the walks and hikes over the years. When Dana was little (I admit it, she was very little) we went on a long hike (again I admit it, it was VERY long) and she was tired and fussy. Keith and I were toting Troy and Shane and didn't want to add a five-year-old to our packs so she had to walk. I tried to bribe her saying she'd get a treat when we reached the van if she didn't fuss. After about 2 minutes she whimpered, "Mama, a fuss just wants to come out." It melted Keith's heart and he hiked the final leg with one child on his back and another on his shoulders. Now, Dana loves to hike and the years of her complaining are a distant memory. Other children are riding and older ones are learning to help, wait for, and care for the little ones.
May is when I get to attend the annual WPA homeschool convention. Twenty years ago I was soaking up every word and piece of advice to help me with my attempts to teach my children. Now it's my turn to motivate and teach. Because I'm a mother I get to use my experience to help others along and I love feeling useful. I get to push myself and do what I tell my children to do--don't worry about being up in front of a crowd, no one really cares if you mess up as long as you're not consumed with yourself and worried about it.
May is when we head up to Camp Nicolet to rake and clean and work in exchange for our use of it for our summer family camp. Being a mother is what gives me the family and brings me to this camp that has opened the door to so many good friendships and special relationships over the past 17 years.
And this May I have been with or will be with all of my children and grandchildren and I am reminded of how wonderful it is to see our family grow and to see our children grow up and start families of their own.
I think one of the hardest things that new moms find about being a new mom is having to take the back seat. It seems that moms are always caring for someone else and meeting needs besides their own and it can seem like a thankless job. And most of the time it is. But, it's an amazingly rewarding job. I couldn't help but notice how few faces I got in my hiking pictures. I realized it was because I was usually behind everyone, which is where moms tend to be, backing them up, picking up after them, keeping a watch over them. It's a very good place to be.