It seems to me that as a woman experiences her first mother’s day she’s filled with the joy of being blessed with the care and protection of another little life. She will do anything and everything asked of her to keep that squirming, wriggly bundle of pure happiness safe and healthy. She’s happy with that on her first mother’s day.

Then come the years when kids do things because they are told its the socially acceptable thing to do! “Today is a holiday where we celebrate mommy, so let’s make her a card!” And the kids joyfully and enthusiastically engage in all sorts of crafty activities to show mom their undying love for the woman who so painstakingly carried them in the womb and out for so many months and years. And mom is happy with getting those hand-made cards from her precious charges.

In the years that follow there seems to be a shift. And I love that shift. A shift into the understanding of the holiday. A desire to express true gratitude. Feelings from the heart.

This year the oldest, my Ella, my mini-me, my girly-girl, my lover of gift-giving planned a special mother’s day surprise. She planned for days, enlisted the help of my husband and son and got them on-board for a special treat for me. Breakfast in bed! While she isn’t quite to the age yet where she can whip up a fresh batch of something homemade, she is resourceful enough to find the giant batch of french toast I put in the freezer every few weeks and task her dad with the job of getting it hot. This is the magical creation they put together and delivered to me at 7:00AM ***yaawwwwwn***.

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Yes, that spells out “Love U”. Awwww! Cute, right? That’s my girl!

Luckily I had a bit of warning from the hubs that breakfast in bed was coming my way. The littlest, Mr. C, had slapped a card on my chest at 6:45AM as he wished me a hurried “Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!” basically tripping over his words to get to… “Can I watch a show?”

His part was done. Card? Check! Done deal. Let’s move on. (That one might be a clone of his father.) I’ll give him his due props though, that card was a doozie. Probably my all-time favorite…

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I’m a dork. I know. I just loved it.

Back to breakfast in bed…

Since I had warning of the impending blessing I peeled my eyes open, took care of the morning potty and tooth-brushing business, inserted my daily-wear eyeballs and crept back into bed, eyes closed, fully prepared to be pleasantly surprised!

My roles in the high school one-act plays paid off and Ella felt like she’d pulled off the greatest surprise in history! And then I was left alone to enjoy my breakfast in silence. Mr. C was glued to the television and little Miss was busy preparing the next portion of my day.

Alone.

In silence.

Enjoying breakfast.

And the wheels started turning, my friends. The wheels started turning…

This was the year I’ll mark in the books as the year my daughter “got it”. The year she put her heart and soul into making a day for me extra special. She’s a giver, that one. She loves to create special gifts for anyone and everyone. If she gets into trouble she disappears into her room and emerges with a picture. A special tribute of love to whomever she crossed or wronged. She wants to make it right and she does it from the heart… until it’s a matter of her brother. Then forget about the lovey-dovey.

Yes, it was mother’s day. A day to celebrate our moms. To be thankful for them and appreciate all those things we took for granted until we had our own offspring to shepherd and gather, shield and protect, care and provide for. It’s also a day when our children can take the time to really consider the things we do for them and to be creative and unique and genuine in the way they show their thanks. Mr. C was good with getting me an awesome card. Little Miss gave me the gift of care and thoughtfulness and appreciation. I don’t need breakfast in bed. I don’t need Love U spelled out in confections. (Although I did enjoy it!) I don’t need flowers or candy or even cards. I need love. I need care. I need appreciation and thoughtfulness.

When Ella took the time to plan something that she thought would make me feel special and loved and appreciated she showed me that she sets it. When she said, “No mom, it’s your day, we’ll clean up the basement” she showed me just how much she gets it. Because that one wasn’t planned. It wasn’t thought out and carefully considered. It was a spontaneous reaction. It was an acknowledgement of the fact that she could do something small to help out. Something I would appreciate.

I’m so glad she gets it now and I can only hope that her brother will recognize the examples of gratitude we’ve set for him. That he will incorporate those actions into his own life when he comes to the age where he gets it too. Our neighbor’s grown son, who has two daughters of his own, gave his mom what I believe to be the most wonderful gift. He came to her house, his truck laden with flowers, to plant in her pots all around the house. They spent several hours together in a simple act that spoke volumes as I watched them through the windows imagining that my own children would some day come spend a few hours with me, planting flowers and just being with me. Being my best blessings and “getting it”… because what I do need is love.

And a six-pack of Summer Shandy…

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Because husband “gets it” too!

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Kristin Herrera

A Country Girl at Heart, Kristin rediscovered her love for writing and can't get enough now. Claiming a small Central Nebraska town as home, she visits as often as possible to relax and re-energize. Her "home-home" is her source of peace, calm and inspiration. Her welcome note on her blog says it all: "I love to write and loose the thoughts that are rambling through my mind. This is where you'll find them..." www.countrygirlbootsandroots.blogspot.com.

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