Saturday, May 12, 2012

On This Day

I am not exactly sure what I thought being a mother was going to be like. I am the third oldest of six and I felt like a mother to my younger siblings, I babysat for years and I guess I figured it wouldn't be all that different. (insert laughter here).

Then as a new mom, I thought getting them to sleep through the night was going to be my biggest challenge, or maybe ditching the pacifier or potty-training. I wasn't sure I was ever going to make it through those times. As the kids got older and started school, teaching them to read seemed an unachievable task. Get getting them to do homework was torture (for all of us). But none of those things hold a candle to the parenting struggles we have been dealing with lately.

My kids' school (the same school I attended) has a long standing tradition called May Crowning. I assumed it was a Catholic thing that every school did but I'm not sure it is. It is basically a little church service on a school night where the kids dress up, sing sweet music, take flowers to the alter and put a crown of flowers on a statue of Mary.

Even as a child, I have had a love/hate relationship with this event. I didn't love getting dressed up on a school night to go to church. And now as a working mom it is really a challenge to get home between 5:30-6:00, get everyone fed, dressed in church clothes and up to May Crowning by 6:40, not to mention any homework done once we get back.

My favorite part of May Crowning is the music. They still sing the same songs we did when I was young. This year, I did not make Alex go but Anna wanted to so I went up to watch her. I took Ella and got there late so we stood near the back and I held her. I loved watching her be fascinated by the other children and the 2nd graders in their First Communion attire. It really is a beautiful little ceremony.

As the school choir sang, I sang the words to Ella. I couldn't help but get choked up over the words to one of the songs.

"Gentle Mother, peaceful dove, teach us wisdom; teach us love."

As I stood there in church, holding Ella, tears rolling down my cheeks, singing these words, I meant each one. I closed my eyes and hoped she was listening.

Happy Mother's Day to all my readers and the mothers in your lives. It is truly the hardest job on the planet but comes with the best perks in the world. May you have the wisdom and strength to teach your children love, kindness and compassion.

 



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