It’s been quite a week of birthday celebrations around our house. We celebrated Dad on Wednesday, then seventeen of us gathered on Sunday night to celebrate Mom entering a new decade. (which decade exactly, should apparently remain a family secret) We went around the table taking turns sharing a meaningful memory of Mom and what we appreciate about her. The stories evoked both laughter and tears. We closed the place down, but not before a family photoshoot, embracing modern technology to FaceTime Great Grandma Hyde into the pictures, including her celebration of her beautiful daughter.
It was a night we will all remember.
As it came my time to share, I realized I could’t possibly choose just one memory of Mom. My entire childhood is full of memories of her taking care of me. While sitting there, intentionally drawing up the memories, I remembered: sponge rollers on Saturday nights, science fair projects, hand sewn clothing, lining up for allergy shots (3 times a week!), garage “sailing”, voice lessons, chore charts, allowance handling, cooking lessons . . . so many things. The more I thought about ALL the little things, the more I realize just how much this woman was doing, times FOUR of us.
Some things in life you will never fully appreciate until you experience them yourself.
It just so happened that I was coming off a weekend that I’d hoped would be wildly productive, but it wasn’t. Oh I was “busy”, but I didn’t have a whole lot to show for it. As a mother of only two, I spend a huge majority of my life doing thankless, never-ending, maintenence tasks. I vacuum, empty the vacuum, dust, load the dishwasher, unload the dishwasher, clean the countertops, clean the sink, dispose of the uneaten food from the fridge, fold laundry, take care of pets, help with homework, carpool to practice, do the grocery shopping, put the groceries away, feed the family, clean up from feeding the family . . . you get the point. Not to mention, reading ALL the parenting books, navigating different learning styles, attending the teacher meetings, throwing parties, being room mom . . . being a mama is a lot. There are a million thankless tasks that will likely never be remembered as a part of the legacy I leave behind.
My Mom did all of that, and more, times FOUR!
In that moment, I felt it so clearly, the weight of ALL she did for us. So when it was my turn to share, I just recounted all the little things that came to mind. My sisters joined in as we made an endless list of all the “little” things that added up to each of us becoming who we are today. As Dad pointed out, we wouldn’t be who we are today, without all she did for us.
If you just came through the weekend wondering where the time went, and why you didn’t make the progress on your to-do list you hoped you would, I want to tell you this:
I see you, Mama.
We see you. We’re all in this together. All of the little things? They add up.
They add up to children who are loved, healthy and strong.
It’s not only the “social media worthy” moments that make a life.
It’s all the thankless moments in-between too.
Keep going. It’s worth it.
It all adds up.
to more love,
(If you, like me, need a healthy break from all the thankless in-between moments, invite your besties and come join us on Thursday for Staying Alive GNO. You’ll be glad you did.)