Mother’s Day Realization

This Mother’s Day, as my kids gave me the cute cards they created, it hit me. It’s me who should be thanking them.

Things I’ve learned from my kids:

  • Acceptance: They accept everyone just as they are. My oldest doesn’t care that his best friend comes from a poor family. He doesn’t mind that one of his friends in school is black. They don’t notice if someone is wearing jeans from Wal-mart or a designer brand. They don’t care if someone talks a little funny, or acts a little weird. They see the qualities in people that really matter.
  • Trust: Maybe it’s the lack of life experience, but it’s a quality I love in them. They trust people even when given a reason not to. Even when I let them down they don’t become jaded or bitter… they move past it and believe in me again.
  • Forgiveness: They are true masters in forgiving and forgetting. They may fight and argue, but they don’t hold grudges. One steals a toy, the other throws a punch. But 5 minutes later, they are laughing and playing together.
  • Love: Being a mom has taught me more about love than any other relationship I’ve been in. From the moment they took their first breaths, the unconditional love that I have for them has been indescribable. There is nothing that they could do that would ever change that. They have taught me to love unconditionally and fiercely.
  • Patience: Sitting in isolation in a hospital room for 5 days would be enough to drive anyone crazy. But the way that Emma took it all in stride was truly amazing. She didn’t EVER complain when they poked her numerous times a day to draw blood. She didn’t cry because the nurses kept coming in at night to take vital signs. She hasn’t whined about having to sit still for hours while she receives her i.v. antibiotics at home.
  • Attitude: They have the most positive attitudes of anyone I’ve known. They can take a seemingly crappy situation and see the good and potential fun in it.
  • Fun: My kids can have enjoy themselves anywhere! Even when I’m feeling tired or grumpy, they have a way of making even the most mundane tasks like making lunch fun. They say the cutest things that can’t help but make me smile.
  • Relationships: They have a pure appreciation for the people in their lives. They don’t see people as disposable commodities.
  • Honesty: Sometimes embarrassingly so, my kids are honest to the core. They have not learned to warp the truth to sugar coat things or manipulate. If they are hurt, you know about it. If they are happy, you feel that as well.
  • Empathy: When they hear a story about a child dying, they cry for them. At my grandmothers funeral, they softly touched her face and whispered their goodbyes in her ear. And then went over to my sad mother and gave her a hug and told her it would be OK. When they see me upset or grumpy, they are quick to throw their arms around my neck and tell me that they love me.
  • Romance: Being a single mom, and back in the dating shark infested waters pool, they have indirectly helped me to make some of the best choices in possible mates. On my own I may have settled for someone that probably was not right for me. But being a mom and wanting the best for my children has forced me to “weed” out undesirable men (maybe not as soon as I should have, but it’s the result that counts, right?) that I may have otherwise settled for. They have helped me to realize not only what I want and need for myself, but also for them.
  • Selflessness: I believe that it is human nature to (at times) be selfish. It’s not always a bad thing. But being a mom has taught me how to put my own desires aside to accomplish a bigger (and more important) goal.
  • Joy: I remember thinking about what my life as a wife and a mother would look like. In some ways it is very much that way. But many things didn’t turn out as I expected. The years since my children were born have brought many “trials”. But I can say that each and every one of them has taught me something about myself. Most poignantly, about joy. This may be the biggest lesson I’ve learned from my little ankle bitters: Even though it may look different than the picture painted in my head, I am blessed. I feel joy from the simple things in my life. A kind of joy that no car, home, hot tub or job can provide.

By no means do I claim to have perfect children. Sometimes they throw fits. Sometimes they cry. Sometimes they get on my last nerve and test my patience. Sometimes I think about selling them to the gypsies.

But I can with certainty say that I’m better because of them. They unknowingly help me strive daily to be a better mom, woman, lover, friend, ex-wife, daughter, and person. They keep me grounded and enable me to see the big picture. Their existence brings me a clarity and gives my life purpose beyond just living day to day.

I feel blessed to be their mother. I am in awe of their goodness. I pray that I can be the mother that they deserve and hope that in spite of my downfalls, they will become the amazing people they have the potential to be.

This post is dedicated to my children — who have taught me more in 8 years than I could have learned in a lifetime without them:

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