I have shared about my mother’s day before. Each day has been special and each day all about me. Yesterday was different. Sure, I still played a big part, but it could not have happened and would not have been so lovely if not for some very special people, who gave of themselves and of their time to help and enrich the lives of not just my family but many others in our community. People I am blessed to be able to call my friends.
Let me start from the beginning, because believe me the day did not begin in a terribly auspicious manner. I had been up all night with my youngest who, in a bout of illness, had reverted back to her younger self, crying uncontrollably all night long. In addition to that the clocks went forward, so what little sleep the two of us had (she was sleeping in my bed at this point) was cut short at six am by slightly confused children who were not sure if it was 5, 6 or 7 in the morning. My response? A very grumpily muttered sentence referring to the fact that all three times would be too early to wake me. It was Sunday morning. And Mother’s day, for goodness sake!
My grumps continued until I managed to get two coffees down me. I perked up a little as I saw the look of expectant excitement on my children’s faces. They each had a surprise, hand-made, especially for me. Being as grumpy as I was, I have to admit to questioning whether I actually deserved the love being so freely offered. One by one the children brought forth their presents.
And this is where the whole village thing and the wonderful people in my community start to take affect. We have a very special couple in our church. Pat, the wife, is very easy to talk to and was one of the first people I told when I got the cancer diagnosis two years ago. A few weeks ago I had been sharing about the difficulties of twins (there are very few to be honest, but one is that they need to assert their individuality to a much greater extent than singletons) I shared with Pat how hard I was finding it to ensure each got enough individual attention to develop their own strengths away from each other. At this point she offered to give up some of her time on a Monday and Tuesday to help out by giving C11 needlework lessons and L11 art lessons. The girls have thrived and so enjoy Pat’s company and simply being one to one with someone without needing to vie for attention with their twin. And Pat has said that it blesses her to be with them too!
Anyway, I knew they had been working on something very special during their time with her. Here are their Mother’s Day presents, made with the help of Pat.
T12, not to be out done by his sisters, made me a whole Minecraft world and turned it into a card! Again, I just loved it:
Three different children, expressing their love through three different mediums, using their God-given talents with the help of Pat. Thank you so much Pat, truly you helped make yesterday very special indeed.
After the presents were given and wowed over, we began preparations for our day at the beach. My own mum has had a rotten time of it lately with her beloved cat dying suddenly at age 4 of an aggressive cancer of the heart and her other three cats down with a nasty infection which is not only costing her a lot of money to clear, but also creating an enormous amount of work for her. Because of the risk of infection to our 9 animals she refuses any help I offer even though I can see how the burden of it all is getting her down. So we had been wondering what we could do to cheer her up. We settled upon a day out, away from her responsibilities, because it is what she has done for me countless times throughout my lifetime. Again, part of the village, albeit a familial one this time. When one is weak, another can offer to carry the burdens, lightening the load for a short time, allowing some healing time. It made me realise how much we all need each other, and what a blessing it is to be allowed to help:
When we returned we trotted up to our church for their yearly Mother’s day service. Every year this moves me to tears, and this time was no exception. Leah, a good friend (and young mummy of two delightful children herself) is another member of our village who gives of herself so tirelessly, and organises the whole event. But that is not all. Leah also runs the children’s choir, the youth choir and also gives up some precious time to tutor C11 in her singing (C11 does love to sing!).
As I sat there in the pews, Leah leading four of my children in singing, Gary playing the drums, T12 doing some of the prayers and C11 leading the little one’s choir in the actions of their songs, surrounded by the hullabaloo of young children, I had a feeling of being utterly blessed. It moved me as I looked around and realised that we are never in this parenting business alone. Here, in this tiny church, were pews filled to the brim with parents, grandparents and children; my generation, the generation who came before and the new generation to come. And we were all in it together. We didn’t have to figure it out alone. And it hit me once again, that it really does take a village to raise a child, for it is too big a job to do on our own. There is a reassuring continuity. The older, more experienced handing down their wisdom to the young parents, who when the time is right passes it on. Right now we are the ones who need all the help we can get in raising these incredible gifts God has given to Gary and I. And then, one day, it will be our turn to take the lessons we have learnt and pass them on; to give our time as selflessly as those around us do and maybe, just maybe touch those in the same positive way that others have touched us.
This year, it wasn’t just my children who made Mothering Sunday such a special day; it was my village.