My kids have been asking me, over the course of the past week, what I might like from them for Mother's Day. They have asked with care and excitement and a desire to please. I keep telling them that I don't need anything from them - a hug and a kiss, perhaps, and a card if they're so inclined, but that's it.
What they don't understand is that they are the gift. These three beautiful kids that I'm so blessed to have. These kids I didn't know I'd ever have. These kids who were the product of years of infertility, years of waiting and crying and pleading with God, years of completing adoption paperwork, years of cycling through a roller coaster of hope at the top of the cycle and dashed dreams at the bottom, years and years of watching those around me have children and then take them for granted and complain about them, years of feeling like always the bridesmaid and never the bride.
It took us seventeen years of marriage to complete our family. And the end results were the gifts of Matthew, Seth, and Lizzie.
How could Mother's Day, for me, be about anything other than on-my-knees gratitude that I am blessed to be called Mom? I know there are many other women out there who do not have this opportunity - whether because of un-sought-for childlessness, or because they have lost their own mothers or because they are separated for whatever reason from their children. I know I am blessed.
And when the kids continue to ask what I'd like for Mother's Day, I understand my further blessing: That my children love me and that, for them, celebrating this day through gift giving is an expression of that love.