Brian and I are the kind of people who sat in the back of the room for all of our foster parenting classes and when it came time to say why we wanted to be foster parents we whispered to each other and laughed.
The others said the things you’d expect. To help kids. To make a difference. We said we wanted to go to kids’ movies and play in the sprinkler.
Not much has changed in the last six years, except that the child we attended all those classes for, Jessie, is growing a mustache and it is Benjamin and Colt who are making mud pies in the backyard and drawing on their arms and bellies with colored markers.
Just a week ago Benjamin went into a doughnut shop wearing the tail from his kite tied around his head ninja-style, brown pants with a hole large enough for his entire knee to poke out and a slightly too-small orange and navy plaid shirt that he refuses to let go of. Did I mention the shirt was unbuttoned and showed the remainder of a green circle drawn around his belly button?
Then, there are the times I come home and Jessie, our resident artist, has drawn flowers for me or generously used his own money to buy us all treats. The times curly haired Colt pulls my chair out for me at the table and serves me corn with a spoon almost as long as his arm. The times Benjamin calls me “my beautiful.”
These are the moments that are better than any manufactured Mother’s Day card – the moments where you remember why you started this journey. None of us do it for the diapers or the I’ve-explained-this-before lectures. No. We do it for the everyday joy, and when there is joy in the every day, then Mother’s Day is just a bonus.
For the last couple of decades I’ve lived pretty far away from my mama and even when I was a mere hour away, sometimes I’d have to work on Mother’s Day. I’ve apologized many years for not being able to celebrate with her in person, and her answer is always the same: You treat me well all year long.
No guilt, just gratitude.
And that – making every day holy – is something worth celebrating.