We are at the starting line of our wedding week. A family brunch reservation was made for Mother's Day. I knew it would be my last sane hour, and I was elated.
We had to pick Matt up because his battery was dead- and when we went into his home-all the Dahls were there. Perfection. The almost newlyweds hosted and cooked, and the guests all contributed.
Waffles, egg casserole, bacon, rolls mimosas- it was a feast. More, it was a feast for the heart.
How time has snapped by. My boys are grown. My work is done. They have followed their hearts to wonderful women, and mapped out lives that reflect a good work ethic, and commitment to family. They are in good hands, with good hearts. They are busy.
My Mother's Day gift to them is this unsolicited advice: take time every day to appreciate the gifts in your life. Don't get too busy.
The fresh love of a young marriage is precious. Take time to learn to speak respectfully and lovingly to each other. Negotiate. Compliment. Offer to help. Support each other's dreams. Fight fair.
The soft skin of a baby is never paralleled. Take time to cuddle, admire, play, break schedules, explore, defy expectations and savor the sweetness.
The challenges of youth are enormous: break them into bits. Or days. Do not worry away your todays with doomsday fears of tomorrow. Don't decry the choices you made. When the earth finishes its rotation, there is no reverse. No do overs. So face forward together, stronger for the support of a partner, and the motivation of a joyous future together.
When the day is done, force yourself to find 5 amazing things that the day gifted you with. Maybe even scribble them down. This "pause" will teach you to look for the flowers in a field of weeds. It is a good practice on days when the boss is cranky, and the baby throws up on you, or the dog eats your best shoe.
Rachel, Kathryn and Justine are at the front edge of life's pathway. There will be macaroni art, handprint cards, popsicle stick boxes and seedlings planted in yarn covered cans. There will be sleepless nights, a lifetime of duty, heart swelling love, pride, fear and sadness. Bitter, sweet, bittersweet- life unfolds for a family, day by day. There are no guarantees, and no promises. But every single day holds gifts. Somedays it is a moment of peace so great that the heart can scarcely hold it.
This is what my family presented me with today: Sneaky, sweet Steve, happy sons, their wonderful partners, healthy Henry, soon- to- be Grandbaby 2, pre-wedding joy, flowers to plant, a candle holder to enjoy, good food, frolicking dogs, a surprise breakfast, the fulfillment of years of hopes and dreams. God added sunny skies. He also endowed me with a wonderful mom, great dad, deep and abiding family roots in my brothers and sisters, friends who take turns momming each other, and a phalanx of people who guided my kids along the way. I'm not quite sure where to assign gratitude for my dogs, who keep me busy and are loyal and loving. Milly and Mabel- no gift is necessary.
My heart is bursting with gratitude for this moment in time. I love my family. I am loved. Perfection. But Milly and Mabel just told me they left some gifts in the dog run. So off I go- but to all, Happy Mother's Day.
Anyone who ever helped a kid- you have "mommed". It is the best instinct, least compensated and irregularly appreciated. But today, duly noted.