Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!

Mother's Day this year proved to be an education for me. Not only did I learn some things about myself I didn't know, but I also came to the realization that one reason I have had less-than-ecstatic feelings about this holiday every year is that my children seem to choose this day to be at their absolute worst. Fighting, name-calling, whining, begging, and more all seem to culminate on Mother's Day, making it extremely difficult to refrain from my usual hollering and nagging long enough to feel like an accomplished mother.

This year my children inundated me with special notes, which were not only sweet, but very informative. For example, from my 10-year-old I learned I am "octofantastic". What, you might ask, does octofantastic mean? Well, I'm not sure, although I've chosen to assume it's something great. She didn't know herself; it was just a word she made up when she couldn't think of any other one that started with "O" for an acrostic with my name (I was just thankful the word "ornery" didn't come to mind).

My eight-year-old attempted to show his love through an acrostic poem as well. Using the word "mother," this is what he came up with: Money, Oatmeal, Tame, Hot, Easy, and Rough. Not exactly words I would use if I wanted to impress my mother, but oh well. I was just about to ask what he meant by writing money, oatmeal, rough and tame when I decided instead to focus on the word "hot." Wow, I thought, at least he thinks I'm something great to look at. He must have read my mind, because without me even asking, he said, "The hot just means you get hot when you're outside, Mom." Great. Thanks, son. I feel so special now.

My five-year-old filled out an entire paper all about me. Apparently, I'm 21 years old (I love that girl!), I'm as pretty as a heart (whatever that means), and my favorite food is tomatoes and onions in a sandwich. At least she didn't have to make up a word (like octofantastic), or use a word like oatmeal or rough to describe me.

The real kicker was my three-year-old, though. In an effort to make the day meaningful, my husband gathered the children together for a special Family Home Evening on none other than . . . how great mom is! He started by asking the kids to think of things I do for them. This brought a lot of sighs, eye rolling, and inaudible muttering from the kids. They were less than enthusiastic about the topic. Personally, I thought it was a great idea. I sat back, folded my arms and waited for the appreciation to start flooding in.

Number one on the list was the laundry. Okay, not bad, but is that the best these kids can come up with? It was Boston's turn next. My husband turned to him and said, "Boston, what does Mommy do for you every day?" I held my breath as I awaited what I was sure would be a sweet little answer that would melt my heart. Instead, he looked right at my husband and said matter-of-factly, "She gets mad at me." Not exactly heart-melting material. Young children are so uncensored!

Round two of this little activity found my eight-year-old saying, "Mom's a good influence." Finally, a thoughtful answer. If only he hadn't followed it up with, "What does influence mean?" Somehow a compliment becomes less meaningful when the person saying it doesn't even know what it means.

The end of the day found me grateful it's 365 days until Mother's Day rolls around again. I've given it quite a lot of thought, and I think I'll use the time to coach my children on more appropriate, meaningful responses for next year. If nothing else, I plan to be the most octofantastc mom ever !


Ashlie said...

Oh Lori. Thanks for the laugh. Ha-ha! We had a great discussion in the car on the way home from church about how everyday but mother's day is actually father's day. ;)

Parker-Delgado Family said...

That is so hilarious. Those darling children of yours mean well, anyway! I have to admit I tried to think of some cool words that begin with the first letters of your name and it is harder than you think. Thanks for the laugh.

Brian and Rebecca Nate said...

I really dread Mother's Day as well. I'm not sure why, I just do. At least my mother is a great influence on me. (Wait, what does influence mean? I love that!)