The kids had suggested sweet nothings of breakfast in bed all week. They tortured me with projects held secretively behind their backs until they could be placed in a hiding spot in their rooms until Sunday morning. They giggled and counted down the days until "Mom's Special Day."
(Well, okay, the boys didn't do this, but you can bet your bottom dollar that Katie did.)
Yes, my husband brought me a beautiful bouquet. Yes, they all signed a card. Yes, they behaved (somewhat) at the celebration for my Grandmother's 91st birthday - some of them even helped with the dishes.
But Mom's special day?
When we got home late that night, everyone tuckered out from a day of sunshine, family and a new puppy (theirs not ours), it was quick to bed and quick to sleep, for all of them. Several minutes passed and I thought they were all down for the count, when I heard rustling upstairs. Wyatt suddenly came lumbering down to me, something in his hand and a sad look on his face.
"This was supposed to be your Mother's day gift," he said as he placed a handmade box full of "fortunes" and "happy thoughts" in my hand.
"It's beautiful." I told him.
Each little note in the box was in his handwriting, each thought was plucked from his thoughtful mind, even the one that read, "Thank you for saving me from McRae. Ewwwww."
"I'm sorry I didn't give it to you earlier," he said.
And that's when I told him what I've been trying all day to articulate to here. Mother's day isn't all about the moms, the ones with little children under their feet. It isn't about the youngest generation, in the trenches of the tantrums, the toddlers, the tattle tales. It isn't about the moms changing diapers or those dealing with puberty.
I'm lucky enough to have four generations of moms surrounding me, every single day in come capacity or another. Whether they are just down the road, or on the other end of a funny email or thoughtful phone call, they are there...for me...constantly and consistently. They are grandmothers, great grandmothers, aunts, cousins and friends.
And I could not do any of this without them.
I anticipate this day every year for 2 reasons. One, because we always celebrate my Grandmother's birthday on this day and two, because I get to spend the day surrounded by the love of all my "moms." All of them. True, my one and only Mother is the one who I honor most, but she and I do not need a special day just for that. And I'm glad she knows this just as I do.
And just like after Christmas, after the trappings are taken down, I wander along aimlessly - coming down from the maternally-induced high of being in the presence of greatness which comes in the form of the females who have been there for me, my entire life. My circle.
My connections to the past, present and future.
Of which, none could be clearer than this photo illustrates:
See how they are looking at each other? It's like they're plotting.