On this Mother’s Day Weekend, I wanted to share something close to my heart…the very symbol of my motherhood…the object that has come to personify my commitment to the art of mothering…the constant reminder of the mother I have become after years of intense effort and valiant striving:
Okay, so she doesn’t have a head. No one is perfect!!!
I don’t even remember who knocked the statue off my dresser, and I don’t have a clue where I put the head. One cute kid tried to secure her noggin back in place with scotch tape, but other than that, there she stands (looking a little too familiar)—headless and imperfect, still trying to nurture her child.
Maybe you’re the mom who sends her child to school with a home-crafted headband that matches her shoelaces, or maybe you’re the mom who tells your kid on the way out the door to keep her shoes on because because she’s wearing mismatched socks. Your house might be ready for a Better Homes and Gardens photo shoot, or you may join me in kicking objects under the couch whenever headlights appear in the driveway. We are all works in progress. Mother’s Day isn’t a time to self-depreciate while looking at newspaper adds of perfect children with perfect mothers, all who seem to be able to find time to take a shower and cut their toenails. We may feel like we spend most of our waking hours separated from our heads, trying our best to keep up with the demands that endlessly tug at our hearts. But we just need to keep trying our best, to keep improving and striving, without tying ourselves to the whipping pole because we aren’t perfect yet. I love this story:
November 26, 1993
Dear Ann Landers: I would like to relate a story that gave me a real lift. A little boy about 9 years old went to town to buy his mother a gift for her birthday. He walked into a lingerie store and decided to buy her a slip. The saleslady asked him what size his mother wore. He picked out one, and she wrapped it for him.
When the boy gave the gift to his mother, she opened it and saw that the slip was a size 12, not the ample size 22 that she really wore. She told her son it was the most beautiful slip she had ever seen and did not let on that it was the incorrect size. The child beamed with pride and was very pleased to see his mother so happy. The next day, the mother went to the store to exchange the slip. The saleslady remembered her son vividly. She told the mother that when she had asked him what size his mother was, the little boy replied, “She’s just perfect.”
I, too, have a mother who is a size 22, and I think she is just perfect. These days, everyone is calorie-conscious and “thin is in,” but I love my mother just the way she is. As far as I’m concerned, she doesn’t have to lose an ounce. I see beauty in her eyes, and they are truly the windows of the soul.
A Grateful Child
Isn’t it great that children can love imperfect mothers? Wouldn’t it be great if imperfect mothers could love themselves as well? On Mother’s Day, please put aside your idea of everything you think you should do and be, and focus on what you are…a Mother, God’s companion in bringing life to the world. Head or not, that is something to celebrate.
Happy Mother’s Day!