I’m not sure when, but one day, Mother’s Day changed for me.
Like most of us, I love my mother with all my heart and will always consider her to be the driver of all things good instilled in my character. I will always be indebted to her. To this day I still thank her in prayers for her heart and guidance.
That said, today I see Mother’s Day from a different point of view – one that arrived quietly and somewhat unannounced. Today Mother’s Day is all about my wife.
This year my wife and I are experiencing a new chapter in life. Both our kids are adults and exploring the world on their terms and their timelines. Where this leads for them, we as parents don’t really know.
The realization of all of this is finally setting in: my wife and I are pretty much at the end of our parenting window. Yes, there will be moments when they might need something – advice, a place to stay for a few days or even just a shoulder to lean on – but for all practical purposes, we’re done.
This only makes more in awe of what a mother really does and the front-row seat I’ve shared with her over the past couple decades. And if I believe our children are the outcome of her hard work and ever-giving heart (which I do), then she is the greatest mom I’ve ever known.
I see the world differently as an adult than I did as child. When I was a child I probably considered my mother just another part of the landscape – a constant that would always be there for me. I didn’t see or appreciate the singular dedication she gave to my brother and me. I didn’t see or appreciate how she always was there for us. I didn’t – that is until she was unexpectedly taken before her time.
But God gave me a do-over and connected me with someone who I’ve watched do the very same for our two children. In the years my wife has been a mother, I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed her make a selfish decision when it came to her role as a mother. That said, I now see the side of the coin of parenting I didn’t as a child – the side of truly understanding what sacrifice really means.
I’m sure that the experiences I’ve witnessed as a husband and partner are not too unlike those repeated in homes as close as next door or as far as around the world. The Maternal Instinct is probably the single most amazing force woven into our DNA. There is simply no stronger force of love and dedication than from a mother to her children.
I’ve seen my wife give – without any reservation of ever complaining – the past couple decades of her life to rarely being beyond arm’s length of our children. No matter how she felt or what was going on in her world, she was there for them. She could have a fever and struggling to get through the day, but if a thunderstorm shook the house and little feet came racing down the hallway, she’d willingly invite the children underneath the safety of the covers.
In some ways I feel like a bystander who just watched the most amazing documentary of a mother’s love and sacrifice. But the good news is, I didn’t – I married her.
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