Mother’s Day

This is perhaps the lushest spring I have experienced in Tennessee. I suppose it’s extra rainfall that has brought us this verdant wonderland. It’s been a steady succession of blossoming, from the daffodils in March to pears, dogwoods and cherries, irises and peonies and now the sweet smell of honeysuckle and blossoms I haven’t been able to identify.

Somehow, the spring profusion seems like a fitting lead-up to Mother’s Day, with its celebration of the women who give life, the nurturing they provide and the growth they support. I love Mother’s Day, in all its cheesy Hallmark glory. You’d think the experience of infertility would have soured the holiday. Instead, I fully appreciate the privilege of being honored with funny and thoughtful cards, preschool crafts, little gifts payed for with saved allowance, and delicious meals lovingly prepared by a kind and capable husband.

This year, I thought a lot about children whose mothers are missing. A recent experience with a little boy my son’s age has reminded me that not every kid gets wrapped in the arms of a mom who cares and is there in the ways she should be. I’ve thought, too of friends and family members whose moms are gone, leaving what must be an unfillable hole.

I am so grateful for the time I get to spend with my mom, and for the hugs I get from my precious kids. Corin loves holidays, and his excited Mother’s Day wishes continued all day. I did laundry and housework and got annoyed by the dog, but the time with family was the highlight, as it always is.


No water guns in the house!


The boys’ table, a.k.a. Trouble Corner









My sweet mama



I still have scars from where he stabbed me with a pencil – twice – but I do love that brother of mine.


What better metaphor for motherhood than choosing the photo where everyone else looks normal?







Who armed the hooligans?



Awesome moms

Prepare yourself; this one’s going to get sappy.

It’s Mothers’ Day, and I’ve got to tell you: I know a lot of awesome moms. I see so many of you, loving your kids with everything you have, making sacrifices that often go unnoticed, juggling a millions things no one else thinks about, ending your days utterly exhausted, but knowing in your bones that they are worth it. I see the look in your eyes when you watch your kids enjoy life with abandon and when they make you proud. I see your pain when your kids are sick and hurting and you can’t fix it for them. I see you worry as your kids grow and make choices and take risks.

There is a lot of legitimate criticism out there about ways modern parents screw up. I see plenty of that, too. Moms (and dads, too, but their day’s in June) have a hard slog trying to figure out how to make the right decisions for our kids. How do you keep them safe while encouraging independence? How do you show them love as you demonstrate consequences? How do you teach them to love God and serve others in a world obsessed with self?  How do you shelter them while preparing them to live out there? It’s really hard; sometimes it about breaks your heart. Sometimes the simultaneous mundanity and enormity of the job is enough to bury you alive. Sometimes you really screw up.

But I see so many of you, making mistakes, getting beaten down, but carrying on out of the immense, undeniable force of a mother’s love. You encourage me and make me feel less alone. You give me hope that there are good parents in this world, raising kids who will make us proud. You give me the confidence to be boldly unapologetic in doing my best for my kids.

Of all the awesome moms I know, three in particular deserve special mention.

  • One mom gave me life and raised me to be the person I am. It may be a cliche, but being a mother really has given me new eyes to see my own beautiful mom. How much better I understand all that she poured into my brother and me. I am forever grateful for all she gave and continues to give, and now I treasure our friendship more than ever. I know she’s missing her own mom this year, and it reminds me how precious our time together really is.
  • One mom loved a couple microscopic clusters of cells enough to give them a chance at life with someone else, and now she loves from a distance a little girl who calls me “mama.” Laurie sent me a bouquet of flowers this Mothers’ Day, and it meant more than I can say. It took two moms to make Lina, and don’t you think I’ll ever forget it. (I’m sorry, Laurie – I know Dan is probably rolling his eyes at us again!)
  • One mom came to me by marriage, a mother-in-law who makes it impossible to relate to all those mother-in-law jokes. I have an inkling it may not be easy to cede the role of “chief woman in your son’s life” to someone else, but she has shown me such love and grace, and she has become a second mother and friend. She is a remarkable woman, and this weekend, we had extra reason to be incredibly proud of her as she graduated with her BSN.

I’ll leave you with pictures from our graduation celebration.