My morning had already taken a turn for the “Debbie Downer” side of life, and I was ready to call the whole thing off. Have you ever wanted to run away from home before your day even got good and started? Behaviors that felt “extra” were escalating in the house. Whining, crying, fit-throwing, negative attitudes. And that was just the kids! As if this wasn’t bad enough, my two-year-old found my make-up bag again. Beige foundation, black long-lash mascara, and white eyeshadow blended into the only store-bought piece of furniture in my entire house. At that moment, I seriously considered buying new beige rugs to match the stained couch rather than spending the time to painstakingly scrub out the make-up. Even Mr. Clean would turn his nose up at this job!
Running tight on time for a Mother’s Day speaking engagement, we hopped into the car, throwing shoes and hair bows at each other in hopes that my children’s first public appearance since the Quarantine of 2020 would have them looking more like princesses than pajama pilgrims.
And, wouldn’t you know it? We didn’t make it out of the driveway before we had a diaper disaster. By this time, I was praying Hard and Holy prayers for Jesus to help me through the morning’s speaking engagement. I had my topic fine tuned. I was practiced and ready. But moments before I was to get on the stage in front of over 1000 online viewers, I realized what I had planned to say wasn’t what I should say– so I was scrounging for the right words. The morning had just started all wrong.
Afterward, feeling defeated and tired, I pulled away from the church with an over-tired (still) crying toddler in tow. I began to sink into a “Calgon Take Me Away!” mental meltdown. But then, I hit the pause button. My kids were watching me.
It was Mother’s Day.
My attitude needed a turn-around and so did my day. And it was up to me to make that happen.
I had promised the girls a special Mother’s Day tea, but, with my mama-mood mimicking Thelma Harper (Mama’s Family), I just wanted a nap! In the middle of my “mood”, I felt a nudge to find my inner June Cleaver (Leave It to Beaver), shake off the happenings of the morning, and make the best of the day. I took some deep breaths, gave myself a pep talk, and prayed quietly for Grace to be a Good Mom. The party must go on….
So, we broke out the coffee mugs, fine paper china, cookies we’d made together the day before, and some CountryTime lemonade like my grandma used to make. A sharpie and some pink construction paper provided the exquisite decor for our “fancy” tea of the century, and the dining room was transformed into a tea room fit for a queen. Dressed in our finest church dresses, we spoke in really bad British accents, lifted our pinkies as we drank lemonade, giggled over memories of our past year together, and ate way too many snickerdoodle cookies. My two-year-old raised the coffee mug she could barely lift and, in the cutest little voice led us in a round of “Cheers.” Several times. The day began to turn around. I knew we were headed in the right direction when my 11-year-old said, “I don’t want this tea party to end. Can we do it again?”
A few days before Mother’s Day, a mysterious package had appeared in the mail with strict instructions that I was not to open it. It was a surprise for me, to be presented by my girls on Mother’s Day. My oldest was in on the surprise, and she couldn’t wait to give it to me. Her excited joy couldn’t be contained. Daily hints were dropped, and she would look at me, giggle and say, “You’re gonna love it,” each time she walked by. If anyone could spontaneously combust from keeping a secret, it might be my 11-year-old. Somehow she kept it inside. That Mother’s Day afternoon-Yes, the same Sunday that had started so badly –the girls scurried down the stairs carrying a decorated shoe box. With big wide smiles they handed me a homemade card and the decorated box. Inside was the cutest t-shirt commemorating my motherhood and fabulous, dangly, hand-crafted earrings from Crossing413.com. My girl was right, I did LOVE IT!
After nap time (Mommy got a nap too-Thelma would be so proud), I felt a little sentimental and wanted a keepsake from the day. I cranked up my inner Martha Stewart, broke out the hand-tracing and finger printing crafts my friends at Fostering Hope had dropped on my doorsteps a few weeks earlier, and we crafted some magnificent keepsakes. (Magnificent to Mom, anyway.) My day was experiencing a total make-over.
At one weak point, I caved and ordered Red Lobster– I mean who wants to ruin the day with dishes duty? And the kids have to eat, right? Cheese biscuits (and chocolate) can make any bad day better.
Miss 11-year-old broke out her spa accessories and opened her Home Spa Resort right in my living room. We mixed up an oatmeal-honey face mask, got out the lotions and galvanized buckets and spa’d the night away. I was treated to a legitimate, relaxing massage and foot rub by my big girl (I told her she could make major bucks in this business!) and I felt loved and pampered. Well, minus the oatmeal-honey mask that she globbed on my face. I looked like a paper mache project gone wrong! As preteens are inclined to do, my favorite spa consultant took ransom pictures which are sure to keep me single for a long, long time.
It’s the little choices in life, the moment by moment decisions that determine the overall success of our days. In the middle of a bad situation, a change in attitude or behavior can reset our day in a positive direction. So, Mommas, if Calgon needs to take you away for a minute, jump in and soak for a while, then shake off the dust, wipe away the day’s residue and begin again.
His Mercies are New Every Morning– (and actually every minute)!
I had an amazing Mother’s Day (really!). I hope you did too!