Saturday, May 13, 2017

Engineering Mother's Day

The beach, cheap toys and homemade snacks.

My husband was out of town and I was going to be the only adult in town for Mother’s Day. I thought about injecting myself into some other family’s celebration. It was going to be very awkward: all of a sudden they might feel like they need to spend the big bucks on me too. Scratch that idea.

2016 was an odd year for a lot of reasons. I was now faced with a major emotional holiday that’s sweet but I often face it with conflicting feelings. My major problem is that I have been away from my mother for 19 mother’s days. I remember crying in the back of the church when I was in College. People thought I lost my mom but the reality is, distance has an interment aspect that injects itself to many happy celebrations prior to my own motherhood journey began. Mixed feelings are real on Mother’s Day. Then I lost both of my grandmothers. Talk about heaviness of heart! 

Because 2016 was a difficult year for me, I desperately needed Mother’s Day to be good. So I decided to lend the kids a hand and we went to the beach the Friday before Mother’s Day.

I went to the dollar store and I bought cheap sand toys. I also packed sandwiches and fruit for the kids and I and off we went. Our whole experience was lovely. The weather was cool and breezy, so rare for south Texas. The kids had a lot of fun and I enjoyed just being with them. It doesn’t get more sublime than watching my children play on the beach. What a happy mother I was that day! I was also happy because I now that this trip to the beach thing down to a science. I got us there and back with minimal sand involved. I know, I’m good like that - smile.
On Sunday after church we decided to go out for lunch. We are a family that doesn’t go out to eat often so this is a huge deal for us. We went to one of our favorite restaurants and when we got there, I realized they were running out of food. It was buffet style so I tried my best to fill the kids' plates but none of my favorites were avaible. I know, it was Mother’s Day and they should have had enough food. The kids filled their little bellies and were happy about their experience. I decided not to let them know that the whole experience was less than ideal. That's what good mothers do, right?

On my way out I told the host that I was going to pay for the kids only because I didn’t eat. He said, “don’t worry, you don’t owe us anything.” Those people forever have our business. Great customer service is awesome, especially on Mother’s Day.

I bought myself flowers that year too. I gained this habit a few years ago but the seed was planted in my heart by a mentor of mine during my college years. She told me, "a woman should always buy her own flowers." It took a decade and a half but I put her advice to use. Flowers are a visual reminder of beauty and Godly perfection. The cheapest the better: I do not discriminate. The goal is to have them smack in the middle of my reality of dirty dishes and toys all over the floor.

I will forever remember 2016 as my “buy your own flowers, throw your own party” Mother’s Day weekend.


I don’t know what kind of emotional energy you are carrying to Mother’s Day. Some of us face each festive holiday with disguised heavy hearts. Others welcome the opportunity to have a break from their usual activities. Still, others wish they had the title "mother." No matter what you’re working with, know that you are lovely just as you are. Whether you have a line of people waiting to honor you or less ideal conditions, know that God who created you loves you and we your sister friends admire you very much. Better days are engineered by the best of us. You have what it takes. Happy day to you, no matter what you come up with.

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