There is no 'me' in Mom.
Neither is there any 'yo' in Madre, 'moi' in Mama, nor any 'me' or 'I' in any term for mother in any language I could find. Believe me, I had my bags packed and was ready to move had I found a place where I could rest on my laurels, chanting "I am the 'me' in Mamee" while my husband and children hastened to my every beck and call.
That being said, there is Mother in Mother's Day and so it seemed clear to me that as a mother this was my day. My day to rest on my laurels while humbly accepting the accolades of my children and the man whose children I birthed. And if they wanted to hasten to my every beck and call, well, I wasn't going to stop them.
The day I envisioned for myself went a little something like this: wake to breakfast in bed, around noon; enjoy a 2 hour massage while reading (in silence) a book of choice, not one assigned to me by my parental conscience; enjoying a dinner in which I could eat without the call of the littlest one to the bathroom or a time-out for the not so little anymore; a little t.v. in the evening while my husband responded to the usual bedtime emergencies of the kiddos.
I would have even settled for an hour in the bathroom, alone, reading in silence whatever periodicals my husband so enjoys on his powder room sabbaticals.
What I got was homemade cards (so sweet!), a gift from my husband (sometimes blogging my inner desires does make dreams come true ;), and a home-cooked meal by the man whose children I birthed, shared by the woman who birthed him.
Um, hello ?!?!, this is my day, lady. Why do I have to host a dinner at my house, on my day?? I casually suggested my husband take his mother out to lunch so the rest of the day could be all about me (appropriately I thought) but, no. She was his mother and therefore today was also her day.
And then, the call. The call to ask if someone else could join the party. After my husband corrected my initial assumption that my pity-party was finally getting some publicity, it became clear to me that my day was turning into a mass mothers' day.
Recognizing my attitude was wrong, so wrong, I got down on my knees, begging the Lord to either deliver me from the plans made and grant unto me the plans I had or, if there had to be an alternative, to grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
Even there, lowered beside my bed, I felt nothing change. No humbling of my own estimation of myself or the perceived right to my day. No compassion for this recently widowed woman with no family of her own. Nothing.
Just me still standing up, though my knees were bent.
Well, if God wasn't going to answer audibly or with a tangible presence, I was going to seek Him out in His word. I went online to our family's favorite devotional and read John 19. There I happened upon the last moments of Jesus' life on earth. Deserted, betrayed, wrongfully condemned he looked out into the crowd and saw his mother. With some of his last words he didn't stand on his rights, didn't defend himself, or look with loathsome eyes at his accusers. When everything was going so terribly for him, his only concern was for others.
"When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother". From that time on, this disciple took her into his home." John 19:26-27
Throughout His ministry, Jesus' desire was to provide for the widows, for those who had no family to call their own. Here, his example continued until the very end, caring for a woman watching her son die, watching her son lay down his life for me.
In a moment I was on my knees, though I still sat at my desk. Slinking humbly from my self-appointed throne, finally surrendering my rights, my way, my demands. Rising inside my chest was a love not my own, a love for a mother, for this mother that was without her children.
This past Mother's Day was a special day, a day I will never forget. It was a day of a delicious dinner, interrupted by a toddler on the toilet and a terror in time-out. It was a day of games and laughter, of shared blessings and memories with family and a new friend. It was a day that I still had to put the kiddos to bed, forced into maternal labor by a husband who declared himself to be taking a break after such intensive dinner preparations. It was a day of highs and low lows.
It was a day where this mama learned that there is no 'me' in Mom. But when you put yourself aside, you can be Jesus to another Mom whose heart will be overwhelmingly touched that she was invited into your home, on your day, to enjoy the richness of life and love that He has deposited there.