A Father’s-Eye View of Mother’s Day

I’m a father, but I love Mother’s Day. I suppose it’s because I know terrific mothers. My own has passed, but I’ll never cease to be thankful for her life and what she gave me.

My ex-spouse is my kids’ mother, and I’ve yet to meet a more committed and determined “mama bear” than her. Her mother is likewise a committed mother and grandparent and pours herself out on her family.

I can remember when I was a young boy asking my mom when kids’ day was, and the responded, “every day is kids’ day.” I was disappointed by the reply and thought it was a cop-out, but getting a bird’s eye view of the mothers in my own sphere and noticing Facebook moms dote with love and pride about their children, I’ve seen not only the truth of my mother’s response, but how it really was an understatement.

Mom spent much of her life devoting her time and energy to family. She joyfully participated and contributed to Beaver Lake summer outings and marrying into a widowed family of three children. She innately knew the value of providing her children with memories and experiences that all of them would cherish forever. It wasn’t until the death of my adopted father years later that I realized how introverted she was and that she preferred to stay home.

Her funeral brought out stories unknown to me. My cousin described my mom watching him while his parents were out of town and how they made brownies that tasted badly. He had been planning on bringing the brownies to school for an event there, and though my cousin had planned on taking them anyway, he later described that my mother on the sly went to the store, bought brownies and replaced the ones they had made.

My ex regarding interacting with our own kids reminds me of my mother. She begs a hug before her children leave. She checks for snacks and lunch, and does an amazing job of either genuinely feeling or providing Academy-worthy reactions of enjoyment to Minecraft simulations, the steering of Dr. Who’s Tardis and the bizarre player interactions of Goat Simulator.

The same attitude emoting for the sake of her children’s pleasure emerges in droves as “mama bear” when she’s concerned about the children acquiring math skills or when evaluating my youngest’s latest IEP.

For today, she’s suggested seeing Guardians of the Galaxy 2 for a Mother’s Day treat. Yes, she appreciates the sarcasm of the series, and yes, I’m sure she thinks Chris Pratt is easy on the eyes, but usually Anne of Green Gables is more her cup of tea than Marvel. For her, I think it’s the joy of seeing the kids express joy that gives her a high. It can be like crack to her.

Seeing such devotion poured out gives me an example to which to aspire. Displays of love and sacrifice are inspiring amidst the often otherwise negative climate and provides fresh energy into my own heart’s purpose and calling. I’m a father, but Mother’s Day breathes wind into my sails.

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