Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Mother's Day

I love my mom! I honestly think I have one of the coolest moms on the planet. Somehow she found that perfect balance between being a mother and a friend when I was growing up. I never wanted to do anything to disappoint her, yet I was never afraid to ask or tell her anything. I think that's unique. Although she gets my love and respect every day, I think it's great to have a day set aside each May to honor her. I'm also a big card-sender. Every year for Mother's Day I send out cards to my mom, my mother-in-law, my two grandmothers and my husband's two grandmothers, my precious great-aunt, and one of my dearest friends whom I love "like a mom." That's a lot of cards, but I consider it a joy to honor these special women in my life.

As much as I love doing those things, it is still a bit hard for me each year when Mother's Day comes around. But I don't want to boycott Mother's Day! No, I'm not a mom, so what I do to handle the holiday is focus on the reasons I DO have to celebrate moms. I make it a point every year to have plans for Mother's Day weekend. I don't want to be at home. I want to spend that time with my family.

I often feel misunderstood about this holiday. You see, my husband and I decided a few years back to "not be around" when it gets here. I love that he understands where I'm coming from and is very cooperative. We have a lot of local friends whose parents live here too. That's not the case for my husband and me. Our parents are back home in Louisiana. So we travel.

The point of writing this is to say that I've learned what I can handle and what I can't. For example, I can't walk into my church on Mother's Day Sunday where all of my friends will be surrounded by their moms and/or their children and I will have neither. Actually, if I'm being honest, what happens is that I get a phone call a few days before asking me if I'll work in the nursery that day. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it feels like they don't want to ask any moms to miss out on the special service honoring them so they choose me. It seriously happens every year. No, I don't want to leave them short-handed, but trust me, I put in my time as a volunteer nursery worker during the year! I'm not available to help on Mother's Day because I'm choosing to spend the day with my mother. It's just that simple.

I was talking with a friend recently about this subject. She finds it hard to attend church services on Mother's Day, too, after her mother unexpectedly died a few years ago. I've said this before, but I am constantly reminded that we just don't know where someone might be hurting. I don't think it's right to judge someone for missing church because of a personal reason. Sure, ideally the church would be the first place for a hurting person to go! And I still believe that. But I have learned that the church is made up of imperfect people (including myself). Sometimes I think we could stand to have a little more mercy and a little less criticism.

I love Mother's Day because I love moms! I want to be one someday real soon. Until then, I just need to enjoy the freedom to celebrate it in a way that makes me feel good inside - like honoring my mom.

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