I guess I don’t get Mother’s Day, at least not from the perspective of me being a mother receiving gifts or acts of service. The truth is I am the one who feels thankful. Thankful for a precious daughter who I know really does love me and a God who was willing to entrust this beautiful creation to me. It’s hard to receive appreciation for something that blesses me continually. Every day is a gift, so I don’t fully get one day a year celebrating me.
Sixteen years ago today, Mother’s Day landed 10 days before your birth. I remember sitting on the sidewalk outside my house that day all alone. I don’t know where my own mother was that day, I remember feeling pretty abandoned without family or friends. With only 10 days left I was full of anticipation. I pondered everything from excitement of meeting you, to fears of whether you would be healthy, and whether I would be a good mother, and important things like would you look like me? As any mother knows, those last few weeks of pregnancy are brutal. Both the physical discomfort and anxiety of sharing with the world that precious little being you’ve protected and bonded with for 9 months. I’m in awe it was sixteen years ago!
I had no idea then how fast the years would rush by, how many mistakes I would make along the way, how much I would really love you and how much you would love me, how your faith would chase me into the arms of Jesus. I would never guessed the number of tears that would fall from both of our eyes, the number of times we would hurt each other, how blessed I would be every day to wake up and hear “mommy”. I am thankful I have at least 2 more years to still make an impact on your life and at the same time terrified that I only have 2 more years to make an impact.
I have many memories of our time together. Today, the one that sticks out was when you were nine years old I had gone clothes shopping. You were always drawn to the jewelry section while I shopped and that day was the same as always. Unbeknownst to me, while I was trying on clothes, you had counted out all your pennies, nickels, and dimes and had bought me a watch. It was the first Mother’s Day present you had ever bought truly all on your own. I will never forget how proud you were that Sunday to give me my present along with soggy cheerios! Your beaming smile and excitement was the greatest gift of all but the watch you bought me was beautiful and I wore it proudly.
Today you gave me a precious gift, your heart. Like you, I have protected myself. Even as I read the letter I was afraid to feel. There have been times I have felt so much I thought I would just die. I’ve realized for a while now I have been preparing my heart for the day you leave and that has meant protecting it also. I am sorry too. My greatest desire would be for you to experience your heart’s desire but that truly is also my greatest fear. I won’t be able to protect you while you chase your dreams. I won’t be there to make sure all the doors are locked and that you’re safely tucked in.
As you are learning to give your heart to me and live out the person God created you to be, I have to learn to fully trust God’s protection and sovereignty over your life. I need to fully accept that you are first and foremost His daughter who He has allowed me to care for. I love you as much today as the day you were placed in my arms and I am truly thankful for you.