Friday, May 8, 2015

It's the Little Things

A mother has a big job. From wiping snotty noses, to never-ending laundry piles, to feeding bottomless pit stomachs, to pulling all-nighters with a sick child, some days seriously do feel like they will never end.

But as I look at my son who is now sixteen, I realize that they will end, and sooner rather than later. I mean, I will always be a mother, but the days of them needing me are slipping away like the sands in an hour glass.

And when they do, and my kids are all grown, what legacy will I leave in my wake?

This is a question I ask myself often. With the rush of the world around us, and the demands of work and home always yanking at my pant leg, I often find myself irritated and short-tempered. It is so easy to bask in my tiredness and use it as an excuse to not be the kind of mother that mine was to me. 

What kind was that, you ask? 

A hands-on one. One who despite being exhausted, never let on to that fact. One who always put us first. One who went out of her way to let us know daily how special we were. One who baked cookies and played games and read us stories every night at bedtime way past when we were old enough to do it ourselves. One who never tired of our continuous questions and constant running in and out. One who didn't snap at us when we ruined our new shoes or put a hole in the knees of our brand new pants. One who was quick with a hug and a band-aid when we had a tiny boo-boo on our finger. 

One who realized that it was the little things that left the mark. 

It wasn't the expensive things. It wasn't the gifts, at least not the kind that came wrapped in a pretty box with a bow. It was the time she spent loving on us. A kind word. A smile. 

It was the way she made us feel, like we could do no wrong. Like we were special. 

Because we were.

And do you know how she accomplished those things? 

By being there. Even when we didn't want her to be. Even when she was tired and worn down. By putting our needs above her own. By holding on to our hands a little too tightly and a little too long, but also giving us wings to fly.

Because that is what being a mother is all about.

I hope that someday my kids can look back and have even half of those same feelings about me as a mother. 

Then I will know I have succeeded.

stock photo courtesy of arztsamui via

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