By the time you have an 8-year-old and a 5-year-old, you've had plenty of opportunities to be humbled by the annual Mother's Day Questionnaire. There was that time when Jackson was in Kindergarten when he wrote that his favorite thing about me was "my body." More recently, my children have answered the "My mom likes to ______" question with "lay on the couch" and "take a nap."
Right before Mother's Day I took Annabeth to school and she was very excited to show me a new piece of work that was hanging in the hallway outside her class. Mercifully, this year's questionnaires did not have the children's names on them, perhaps in order to protect the innocent - or the guilty. I would've known which one was hers because she always draws her self-portraits with a bow. This time she gave both of us a heart-shaped bow. She's so wonderful.
I braced myself.
I read the fateful question: What is your mom's favorite thing to do?
Eek! Here it comes!
She likes to clean the kitchen.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is redemption. That's right. My daughter thinks I love domesticity. She might even think I excel at it. Both are untrue, but it doesn't matter because my daughter honored me, however anonymously, for all eyes to see. Muahahaha!
On the Friday before Mother's Day, Mom, Melissa and I got to attend a "Muffins with Mom" type of event with Annabeth in her class.
We had a sweet time with our little darlin'.
There was yet another questionnaire - this time laminated to preserve the answers for years to come. Will my redemption continue?
Well, it was a mixed bag. Annabeth thinks I'm really good at cleaning (yay, cleanliness!), but the best thing I cook is sandwiches. Bahahaha! Oh my gosh, I love my child so much. I feel the scale was tipped toward a win for me though.
There wasn't as much laughing going on by the time Saturday came. I was feeling pretty melancholy about Mother's Day. There's so much pressure to be happy and shiny on that day, and I couldn't stop thinking about how much pain my mama heart has felt this year. We had a second failed adoption placement the week after Easter and, honestly, I just felt sorry for myself.
Curtis had some pastoral ministry to do on Saturday, so I reached out to my mom and asked if we could come out to her property and get gritty and messy. I was feeling gritty and messy on the inside, so I couldn't think of anything better.
We started with an experimental bike ride. I didn't know if the kids would be able to ride their bikes successfully on the trails but they did great. A few places were hard for Annabeth, but I think this is something we could do again.
After we were good and hot (it was like 90% humidity that day) we took the golf cart down to the creek and played in the sand. We named this spot Bibby's Beach.
Please just call me Nature Mom, y'all. No longer Napping Mom, but Domestic-Nature-Sandwich Mom.
To my delight, I received my very first coupon book from Jackson on Sunday morning. He made it at school. Included in my many coupon options are a back rub, a foot rub, cuddle time, cereal in bed, and the gems pictured below. My child's handwriting struggles, so I'll help you out: "90 min of TV time" and "No food for 100 min." I died.
Jackson explained that these two are actually for him. If I need some peace and quiet, I can make him watch TV for 90 minutes. If he's driving me crazy by asking for food non-stop, I can make him fast for 100 minutes. I will never get over the split second I thought I needed my child's permission to watch TV or to diet.
Ultimately, I had a good Mother's Day. God gave me the grace to smile and be happy and have so much gratitude for the son and daughter that have been entrusted to me. I've been advised to stop trying to figure out what everything means or understand why and what God is doing. One day I will know. For now, I have to move forward with these two turkeys and that awesome man of mine.