Mother's Day is a day of indulgence. It's the day when moms don't feel the least bit guilty about being spoiled (or spoiling themselves.) It's the time of year when I reflect on the things I want most from my kids, and FOR my kids, and my list is long people. Very. Very. Long.
For Mother's Day, I want my children to be happy. Not the temporary happy that comes from a candy bar in the check out line, or a new "must-have" on our Target run, but the real, lasting kind of happiness that they will carry with them long after they leave the nest. I want them to smile often, laugh even more and feel deep down that they have a happy childhood, the one that Michael and I are trying hard to create and sustain. I want that happiness to be planted early and deeply, so as they grow, it will provide fulfillment and gratitude during the good times and hope and perspective during the hard times, both of which they will have along the way. Happiness, hugs, smiles...I want those things for my kids.
For Mother's Day, I want my children to be full of peace. I want them to be peacemakers and peacekeepers. Not just the kind of peacefulness that keeps them from slugging that annoying kid at school (or one they live with), but the kind of peace that helps them stay grounded when their lives are filled with everyday chaos. I want their home to be a buffer from all the demands that confront them the second they walk out the door. I want us all to slow down and leave room in the schedule so they can experience the value of peace. I want them to offer peace when in an argument, to extend a hand whether they win or lose, and to agree to be kind even when it's not easy. I want them to yearn for the kind of peace that comes with a spring day when the only thing to do is lie in the grass and watch the clouds dance in the sky. Peaceful easy feelings, I want that for them.
For Mother's Day, I want my children to be confident. Not arrogant or showy, but I want them to possess a sense of self that stems from experience and wisdom. The development of such confidence is a gradual one. I want them to have the "wins" in life that help them see their potential and encourage their effort. But I also what them to have the "losses" that teach them to be humble and that it's more important to celebrate the successes of others than merely your own. I want them to have a confidence that gives them strength in the face of peer pressure, like a drink or a "just-try-it" at a party. I want their confidence to be the motivator that urges them to try harder next time, maybe at a sport, on a test, or in a relationship. I want them to always feel like they are enough. And throughout life, as that confidence takes root and grows, I want it to hold onto their hearts and stave off the ugliness of things like jealousy, mistrust, greed and entitlement. A life filled with humble confidence, that's what I want for my children.
For Mother's Day, I want my kids to have compassion. When they encounter a fellow student who's injured on the playground, or a friend with a broken heart, or a stranger in need of a smile or a dollar, I want their first instinct to be to help. I want their hearts to hurt when they witness another person's pain. I want their thoughts to turn often to those in need rather than to their own desires. I want them to experience a friend's compassion so they understand the importance of being there for someone else. When they no longer have me pointing out the needs and hurts of others, I want their own compass of compassion to do the job and reveal to them how they can offer kindness, love and support. Compassion and a heart that's driven to give, that's what I want for each of my children.
For Mother's Day, I want my children to have faith. Faith in their God, in their family, in their friends, and in themselves. I want them to believe in things that aren't easily seen or held or measured, things like love and hope and humanity. In spite of what their peers say or what society tells them, I want them to stand up for their beliefs and have faith. As life goes on, I want them to take that faith with them so they can share the spirit of possibility everywhere they go. It's an unrelenting faith and life-affirming faith. I want that for them too.
Lastly, (and bless you if you've made it this far), for Mother's Day, I want my children to have love. They will surely experience differing degrees of it in their lives and I want them to eventually learn how to give and take the kind of love that lasts forever. The kind that leaves a legacy as it's modeled and replicated and shared. My kids will always have the love of their family, but I still want them to earn that love and respect us all the same. Friends will come and go, but I want them to learn how to cultivate lasting friendships, reciprocating and compromising frequently. I also want them to one day find their soul mates, live love-filled lives and grow old with their best friends. I want them to be generous with their praise and appreciation of the people in their lives. I want them to support them, and be supported during times when their confidence has lost its luster. I want them to offer and aspire to the kind of happiness that endures the rough waters. And I want them to have loved ones all around that feed their spirits as the phases of life wax and wane. Most importantly, I want them to know that the way to truly and completely and fully love others, and to be loved back, is to simply start with loving oneself. I really want my children to experience a lifetime of having and giving love.
So that's my Mother's Day wish list. Happiness. Peace. Confidence. Compassion. Faith. Love. And the greatest of these is LOVE!
Happy Mother's Day to all you amazing moms. May your day be filled with everything that makes your heart sing. And especially to my wonderful mom, who has shaped the woman and mother that I am today...I love you forever!