The Day After Mother’s Day

“If you eat this breakfast bar, you won’t be as hungry, but I don’t want to give it to you if you’re not going to eat it.”

Micah glanced at the package, spit out his toothpaste and said, “Yea, stick it in. Thanks for the lunch, Mom.”

Yesterday, this same 20-year-old started banging dishes around at 6AM then burst through our bedroom door. “Do you want regular eggs or Hollywood eggs for breakfast?”

I thought it was him in the kitchen, but since I never see his face much before 11 on his day off, both his presence and question surprised me. “I’ll take plain yogurt with granola.”

“How about bacon?”

“Sure.” I smiled as I thought of how the Mother’s Day gauntlet had been passed to him from his graduate-school-sister.

Still, that was yesterday. The one day of the year where the world takes a collective breath and thanks the one who brought them into the world. It makes mothers smile. It makes restaurants busy and it makes Hallmark rich.

But the day after Mother’s Day shifts back to any other day. I like getting back to a ‘mothering normal.’ It didn’t used to be that way.

When I first gave birth to Sarah, I thought the holiday would be magical. At the ripe old age of eight months, I hoped that she would smile angelically all day while my awestruck husband would create a five-star, seven-course meal. It didn’t happen.

When Micah was born, I thought two creatures should adore me. They didn’t. My husband Tom usually had to work. So when Mother’s Day was filled with children’s tears, sibling rivalry, and dirty dishes, I was disappointed.

As I’ve grown up along with my children, I’ve appreciated just being a mother. Not the day.

Being a mother has taught me that days aren’t always perfect, that children are never perfect, but they’re dear. It’s taught me to stop thinking about myself so much—which is a definite improvement. It’s taught me that although mothering is so ‘daily,’ like delivering the newspaper, it’s a privilege. I wouldn’t change it or my children for anything.

It’s a privilege to watch my baby girl grow into a young woman who attends graduate school and cares deeply for others. It’s a privilege to observe a little boy turn into a young man who wakes up at 6AM to fix his mother breakfast.

Two of my friends have lost their sons in the last month. I’m grateful that I can fix a lunch for my little boy who stands six-feet-tall.

Happy Day After Mother’s Day!

4 Comments on "The Day After Mother’s Day"

  1. Sarah says:

    Love it! The best mom a girl could ask for :-)

  2. Margaret says:

    Love it Pauline! I love the reality of what you write…M

  3. Haley Roger says:

    You are right! Facts are stubborn things :-D

  4. Rhonda says:

    I loved it. Thanks and I miss my Mondays. Getting my feet back on the ground is tough. I’m glad you n Micah are getting along.

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