If you'd asked me on Mother's Day if I was having a good day, I probably would have said, "not so much." Ask me today and the answer would be much different.
My morning started off nice enough. When I awoke I discovered Steve had gotten up early and not only emptied the dishwasher (so sexy, I tell you!) but had picked up bagels for all of us from St. Louis Bread Co. -- a real treat. He also had a steaming mug of tea waiting for me to enjoy. After breakfast the kids were dying to give me the gift they had fought so hard to find in the crowded malls filled with men and their children in the day-before-Mother's-Day rush. I had an inkling it was a tea kettle as I had been sharing my outrage upon learning all these years of microwaving water, I had been drinking sub-par tea.
While the kids encouraged me to close my eyes, Steve fetched my gift from the car.
"Okay! Now you can look!" they cheered.
The moment I spotted the posh bag emblazoned with the Teavana logo, I froze.
Next, an onslaught of excitement from Natalie "Open it Mom! Do you like it? I picked it out! It has fish on it! I can't wait for you to try it. Can I have some tea?"
Oh boy. Not only had they spent way more than our budget, but I was going to have to break it to them that the cast iron pot they bought could not even be used to boil water. It was designed solely to steep loose leaves.
Crushed but determined. Steve insisted on leaving the house that very minute in order to buy me a whistling kettle. Though I tried to assure him it was not necessary. I only wanted us to have our picnic and enjoy the day together at Castlewood Park - he would not hear of it. Ninety minutes later, he returned home defeated and aggravated that after five stops he still could not find one. By this time I had packed our lunch and had the kids ready to go.
But then... Mt. Steve erupted. Frustrated that he couldn't afford a pot (certainly not a teapot from Teavana) to piss in and he was tired. Tired of working two jobs. Tired of working over-time. Tired of living in cramped quarters. Tired of not being able to give me what he thinks I deserve. He wanted me to have that fancy schmancy pot and a dang whistle kettle, too. He wanted everything to be perfect for me.
My heart ached for this man who desires the best for me and the kids and often accepts only scraps for himself.
In the end, Steve chose to stay home. The kids and I headed out to my aunt's house for brunch with my mom and extended family. While apart from Steve I felt sorry for myself a bit over our financial burden...weighed heavy by our commitment to give Noah the specialized education he needs to succeed.
After brunch my mom and I took the kids and their cousins to the
park. I sought to change my attitude and threw myself into enjoying the
outdoors with my kids. Natalie and I began playing Frisbee, but after a
few throws she alerted me to the state of my jeans...or rather what was
left of them. Apparently, I had split them and not even realized it.
Par for the course.
But, rather than disrupt the kids' play, I tugged at my shirt in an effort to hide my exposed rear while Nat walked behind me until I could find a place to sit down.
It was the best decision I made all day because it forced me to sit and really think. It was only then that I received clarity. My thoughts turned to women struggling with infertility, those living with the loss of their own mothers. I was also reminded of my cousin who will never have the chance to celebrate Mother's Day or any other day with both of her children. Suddenly, worrying about money seemed not only wasteful, but hurtful to God and His promise to take care of me and my family.
Today I'm thankful I stayed at the park, split pants and all and enjoyed the sunshine while watching my kids play - another day with my kids is such an extravagant gift. I'd gladly choose a dozen bad or imperfect days to no more days with my husband and kids. Steve asked for a do-over. I don't think I need that. I just need him to keep doing life with me.
Because hindsight really is 20/20...sometimes literally.