|Kingston and his queen.|
I attended a Mother's Day celebration at my son's preschool today. I am normally not one to find a ton of enjoyment out of stuffing my bootie into a tiny, child-sized chair while other people's children sing to me. However, today was a Mother's Day celebration hosted by my four-year-old, my last child. This caused me to pause and reflect a little more than I normally would in a setting where children are running around eating chocolate chip cookies at 9 AM.
This Mother's Day celebration was not very different than the ones that I've had in my previous children's classrooms. There were treats and orange juice in Styrofoam cups and handmade cards. There was a framed drawing of a dinosaur that my Littlest made. There was a paper crown with colorful fake jewels sloppily glued to it and when I sat down in that tiny chair next to my son he placed that crown on my head and beamed, "Mom, you are a queen!"
I wore that crown, sitting with my knees tucked up under a tiny table, in a classroom filled with children and moms and I felt a little silly for a while. But I wore that crown for my son because I knew he was proud of what he had made for his queen.
Headed through the parking lot when the festivities were over, I reached to take the crown off my head.
But then I paused.
"I'll take it off in the car so that he doesn't peer through the window and see me removing his prized gift", I thought.
But once in the car I sat there with that crown on my head and I couldn't take it off. I kept that crown on and started the car and began to drive.
I left that crown on.
As I drove I thought of all of the volumes of books and blogs and articles that I have read on parenting and mothering and nurturing and child development. I thought about the ways that I've grown and I've learned. And I thought about the ways in which I have chastised myself for the things that I don't do right. I thought about all of the ways in which I worry and I worry and I worry about my children's future and the life that they will one day have away from me. I thought about the ways that I am pained for the mistakes that I make.
I kept that crown on because it means I'm a mom.
I thought about the way I spend more time thinking about what I'm doing wrong as a mom, rather than what I am doing right.
I smiled at the thought of the way I fuss over their nutrition and how intentional I am about their emotional well-being. I sat up a little straighter with that crown on my head as I thought about the example of trust and authenticity and honesty I try to set for my keikis. I thought about the way in which Gavin feels safe enough, as an almost 12 year old, to put his arm around me while we walk around the lake. How India loves to ask my advice about what to name the new main character in her latest book she is writing. How Kingston loves to help me cook dinner while standing on a chair, giving me random kisses along the way.
I kept that crown on because I was proud. I was proud for the work I have put in, the love I have poured out, the countless "I'm sorry, will you forgive me?"s I have spoken. It is rare that I take a moment to reflect on the good that I have done as a mother. That little, jeweled paper crown helped me do that.
So I kept that crown on.