It used to be that Mother's Day had a certain power over me. And let's just say it wasn't pretty. I used it as some sort of yardstick to measure my mothering against, and year after year I kept coming up short.
One year was particularly awful, and I left church sobbing - a horrible, sniffling mess. I walked home to find all the doors locked. Of course. I sat on the back deck wishing the earth would swallow me up so I would never have to face another miserable Mother's Day.
I don't know what happened, when it changed for me. Wait, yes I do. It was four Mother's Days ago after I'd gone through cancer treatment and been separated from Ellie for 6 weeks when she was just an infant.
And just like that, I realized Mother's Day wasn't about me. It's about them.
And this is where words fail me. I mean, I still feel that on most days my mothering probably comes up short against that imaginary measuring stick, but I am grateful for every day I have the opportunity to try.
Because what if it had turned out differently? What if I didn't have them? What if the cancer had won? What if I had been hit by a bus? No not really, but you get the idea.
There are definitely still days that try a mother's soul (and that witching hour right before dinner time, of course), but mostly I've made a conscious decision to enjoy the ride.
I am still here, and I have these five wonderfully distinct personalities to love and learn from, so I'm going to. I'm really going to. Yardstick be damned.