When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hamster in a toy car: A mom's love

I called my mom on Sunday to wish her a very happy Mother's Day, and somewhere in the conversation a funny memory from my childhood popped up.

"Do you remember that time when I woke up crying in the night because I had growing pains or something in my leg?  You tried to distract me and cheer me up by putting our pet hamster in the boys' Boss Hogg toy car and driving it all over my bedroom floor.  That was hilarious!"

"I was CRAZY," my mom laughed.

"You were awesome," I told her.  "We had a lot of fun."

"I'm so glad you remember things like that."

Saturday for me was one of those days as a mom where nothing seemed to go right. I had many things to do, none of which were very fun, and no one seeemed to be cooperating.  While I was vaccuuming the house, I called the boys to come and put away all of the random stuff that was on their bedroom floors, and Noah took that to mean that he should throw his swim bag haphazardly on his bed.  A while later I discovered that the both the body wash and conditioner bottles in the side pocket of his bag were leaking profusely (they had holes in the bottom from being repeatedly banged around, and somehow he hadn't noticed this), which necessitated me having to wash both the goopy swim bag and Noah's duvet cover, when I had just done his bedding the day before.  As the swim bag came out of the washer, I found it was covered in millions of tiny bits of white sticky paper, because Noah had forgotten to remove all of his swim ribbons with time stickers on the back of them from his bag before putting it in the wash, and all the stickers had disintegrated.  After dealing with that disaster, I spent a bunch of time baking cupcakes, making icing, and preparing a homemade pizza for Will to take to a birthday party (something I do every time he goes to one because of his food sensitivities), and even though the short notice invitation to this party had caused Matt and I to change our plans for a dinner out that we had previously made, Will had no interest in returning the kindnesses shown to him and complained with much drama when we asked him to help out with some meal preparations. I felt (as I'm sure every mom does from time to time) that I spent my whole day doing things for the boys that they didn't even appreciate, and then on top of it, I felt guilty for nagging and getting upset with them, because that's not how I wanted us all to spend our Saturday together.
And yet, on Sunday morning, I was greeted by two wonderful boys bearing heartfelt Happy Mother's Day greetings, one grinning from ear to ear and proudly offering me a beautiful rainbow painting and a lovely letter written carefully on handmade paper, one seriously presenting me with a wonderfully written poem full of wit and sentiment and creative little drawings, and a packet of mint tea.  The frustrations I had felt with the boys and the feelings of not being a very nice mom from the day before simply vanished in that emotional moment as I read in their own words what my two boys really thought of me. 

We moms are hard on ourselves sometimes.  We dwell on our mistakes, forgetting that making them allows us to teach our children the valuable lesson that no one can be perfect and we all have things we can work on, and we don't give ourselves enough credit for the many things that we do right that allow our children to be happy and healthy.  My family reminded me on Sunday, though, that when a mom loves her children and does her best to show them she does, that love is what forever colours her children's lives.  Our kids do notice and appreciate and remember the times that mom helped them solve a problem or stand up for themselves, spent time having fun with them, made them something special to eat, made them laugh by driving a hamster around their room in a toy car.  It is these kinds of memories that give our children feelings of security and self-worth that they'll carry with them forever.  I'm so glad for the Mother's Day reminder that in the big picture, it is not the times we do things we wish we hadn't, but the many moments we do things that are warm or funny or helpful out of love for our children that always seem to make a lasting impression.


  1. Thanks for the reminder.. I had a hard-mommying day yesterday.

    1. Those days are tough, aren't they? But we learn and grow from them, too. I think it's the bumpy parts that help us to appreciate the real joys and beauties of motherhood all that much more.