Here is what I remember...
She was with me all the time.
She never said no when I wanted her to play barbies or house or read to me or play a game.
She rubbed my back almost every night.
She was always so nice to me.
She made the best lunches.
I just always loved being around her.
She is my Mom.
Here is what she says...
"I'm not sure that's really how it went."
And then she'll dispute things that I recall.
Who's right...and who's wrong?
Here's what I think. I think, as Mothers, we may often agonize that we're doing a "good enough" job. Or, we feel guilty for choices that we might deem selfish if they take any time away from the kids. Some of us may go overboard with elaborate parties and gifts for our kids and think that is the best way to show our love. Some of us might only be able to do small things and worry that it's not enough. But here's the big secret I've learned. The best gift you can give your children is your time.
So who's right? I think we both are. My memory is my reality. I remember those special moments we shared and they are burned in my brain above any other memories. And my Mom is just like every other Mom - including me - who remembers the times that she DID say no to playing barbies... or no to one more book... or gave me a lunch I hated and then probably heard about it when I came home from school. For some reason, those times get burned in our brain - sometimes above other memories.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
My wish today is that every Mother, young or old, will let themselves off the hook. It is impossible to be a perfect Mother. It is impossible to say yes to everything. It is impossible to remain physically and emotionally healthy if you sacrifice your needs 100% of the time.
This Mother's Day, allow yourself to see why you are a great Mother. We really can't do it ALL - but that's okay. I think the only person that expects us to be able to do it ALL... is us. Our children may forget their elaborate ninth birthday party - or that you said no to an extra dessert or that new video game when they were fifteen. But they will remember how they felt when they were around you... how you looked when you opened your arms to hug them... how your eyes lit up when you saw them. Basically, what I'm trying to say is this:
Our children will remember the important things.
This Mother's Day, I remember love. And many, many years from now - I hope my children... and ALL of our children... can say the same.
Happy Mother's Day!