Last week my two youngest kids brought home Mother’s Day gifts they made at school (bless you, teachers, for your Mother’s Day gifts via your students). Will painted a handy little pot that I think will hold pens and pencils, and Ellie made a beautifully crafted flower from brightly colored tissue paper. He and Ellie also brought home a fill-in-the-blank note about their mom (I especially love these).
These notes are very funny and telling. In fact, if you look at Will’s, you’ll see that his impression of what his Mommy likes to eat is “Texas Skillet, wine and coffee.” Hmm. He also has some advice. When asked what he would change about his Mom, he answered “work less on the computer…and get outside to play more.” Ah, noted. According to Ellie’s note, she would never trade Mommy for anything, not even a — “monkey.” (That’s good to know. I’m glad I rank higher than a monkey.) She also seems to believe that I am two feet tall and a year younger than I actually am. And I was touched that she wrote that I am really good at dancing, something that tickled her older siblings so much they actually fell out of their chairs laughing.
These sweet little windows into the minds of my kids have offered me some lessons today, reflecting on them three days after Mothers Day. My kids are funny, sweet and insightful. And I will do well to consider their perceptions. They are good barometers for how I am doing as a mom. I didn’t know, until Will wrote it, that the smartest thing he’s learned from me is “to believe in Jesus.” (Sigh. Tear in the eye.) I also didn’t know that the reason he knows he’s loved is “because Mommy hugs and kisses [him] every night.” Who knew how easy he was? What my kids see as strengths are things I don’t even think about doing most of the time. And what they see as weaknesses, I give equal inattention to, until today. On this third day after Mother’s Day, I think I will show less enthusiasm about my dinner prep companion, the five o’clock glass of wine. I also think I should work less at the computer come afternoon and spend more time playing outside. And, finally, I should perhaps work at improving my dancing. I do, after all, want to keep my edge over that monkey.