Being a mother is a heavy load– we know this like we know flaked salt belongs on dark chocolate.
In the push and pull of the glorious every day-ness, we can be bone-tired before the day even begins, and it’s nice when someone notices.
In a few more weeks the foyer of Publix will be packed with potted plants, I’ll cry at the baby soap commercial at least once, and a corner of Target will explode with lavender and pink.
Because Mother’s Day is coming.
I love the homemade cards with my head drawn almost to scale and my eyes bearing exactly three eyelashes each. I even love the subtle, sweet suggestions of their own favorite restaurant.
But in all honesty, I cannot help but steel myself for the other part of Mother’s Day. The part with all the snark. The part that says, “My ankles swelled to twice the normal size THREE different times and all I got was this lousy Begonia.”
The shouty screams about the hardness of life as mom. And my own least -favorite, the attack on Dad. The sidling up of every father against the Ray Barones of the world. The guy who never remembers anything, and wins several eye-rolls a day.
Because, yeah. It’s tough to be a mother sometimes.
But if I stop long enough to peer into the living room at that man that I live with, I see it. He’s no Ray.
The tall one with the grey converse and the ability to recall song lyrics from the 80’s. He’s only been home ten minutes and already he is kicking the soccer ball with one daughter while holding the other high in his arms. Somehow he managed to make us all feel better just by being here. He’s unloading dishes and helping with dinner and mediating a lego dispute. He helps lighten the load. ALOT.
The truth is, even on a difficult day the load is lighter because he helps carry it. Joyfully, seriously, selflessly. He doesn’t walk through the door expecting to be waited on hand and foot, He walks through the door immediately giving a hand.
He loves us like it’s his job, because he knows it is.
Even now, I pause and wince. I know it is not like this for every mom. Many feel alone. Many are alone. You might feel alone, and for you I want more than a potted plant for Mothers Day. I want a housekeeper and a masseuse and take out dinner delivered to your doorstep. I want to tell you how much you matter. Because you do.
But for those of us who always have another set of shoulders to lean on when the day is longer than the Summer Solstice–
WE need to express our thanks and we need to say it now before June rolls around.
Because these men that keep us going so we can keep everything else going? They need to hear our thanks. They need to see it lived out. They need to be respected and appreciated for carrying so much of what we’re holding in our full hands.
These thoughtful guys who keep us in plenty of coffee and don’t mind folding towels at the end of the day are doing thousands of little things that add up to a lot.
So Thank You–
to the guys who drive just so we don’t have to–
to the high shelf reachers–
to the dark chocolate bringers–
to the take-out menu embracers–
to the wildlife catchers–
to the egg scramblers–
to the Saturday pancake flippers–
to the plant watering rememberers–
and the drive home because we locked ourselves out of the house (again) – guys.
Thank you to the better ironers who don’t mind that title–
and the ones who don’t laugh when we forget to switch the clothes over for the third time.
Thank you for deciding you didn’t want to wear that shirt anyway.
Thank you, bath givers– the gentle hairbrush wielding dads not overwhelmed by all these women they live with and the amount of irrational tears that accompany them.
To the ones who encourage us to take time for ourselves, and not for a Costco run.
Thank you for cherishing us as treasures and pushing us to be unbelievably strong.
Thank you for convincing us that we can do hard things. And then nudging us to do them.
To you who save money in unseen ways to filter it into helping dreams materialize, we notice. Thank you.
to the ones who help us balance plates of passions and interests and help us say no thank you when we can’t find the words.
For being both the stable rock and the soft place to lean. Thank you for looking like Christ in your servant leadership.
Thank you for seeing us. You remember who we were all those years ago– you remind us who that girl is and help her find her place here in this beautiful new reality. One of being both who we were then and who we are now.
To the imperfect men who love the imperfect women they share a house and love and a family with– we could not do it without you.
And we wouldn’t even want to try.
Our load might be heavy, but you make it lighter.