I had a lot riding on that one Sunday in May.
Since then I've learned that I can be really good at creating a really bad Mother's Day. The bad has never been for a lack of effort on my husband and children's part. The bad has only completely been my fault. My own unrealistic expectations of one day always set me up for failure. I've learned that it's impossible for husbands and children to read my mind and produce for me the ideal Mother's Day, because the ideal Mother's Day does not exist and most of the time I don't even know what I want anyway.
I've learned that my sense of entitlement only me causes me to feel neglected, because no amount of love and appreciation from my kids can fill that selfish hole that I deserve this creates.
I've learned that the best way to celebrate Mother's Day is stop thinking about myself. Instead I think of my kids, and how I wouldn't be a mother if it weren't for them. I think of my husband, who had a very intimate part in making me a mother in the first place. But then I think farther back. I think of my own mom, and her mom, all down through the line. I'm just one in a long line of ordinary women who birthed babies and watched their hearts walk around with someone else's skin on. There is no Hallmark card poetic enough to do justice to legacy of motherhood passed down through the ages.
When I lose my sense of entitlement, that idea that I deserve the flowers and the poetry and the pampering, then my day and my life will become infinitely better. I'm not saying Mother's Day will always be a dream from here on out. It won't. I'll be disappointed. I might cry. I might sing. I might need a nap. But I will be realistic. And I will practice focusing on others. Selfishness is the quickest road to disappointment. Mother's Day can be our biggest disappointment or our greatest celebration. It's all in how we look at it.