We took my boys to Archery 101 yesterday at a State Park called Resaca De La Palma. It’s green and lush and filled with tropical birds & butterflies. As the boys were practicing their shooting, my mind began to wander. For obvious reasons, it moved in the general direction of Mother’s Day. I know I have written a lot about my childhood because, number one, it helps people who have been through stuff and number two, it’s my therapy. But as I was enjoying the amazing landscape practically in my backyard, I began to remember places my mom took me when I was young. Although my mom was an alcoholic, I realize I don’t write much on the good memories I have. So in honor of Mother’s Day, here you go!
I have this love for nature that connects me and refreshes me like nothing else. When I cycle, when I run, when I go to the beach, and when I go on hikes- nature fills me up. I grew up in Northern California and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how breathtaking the views can be from there. When I was a kid my mom would take me on the weekends to all kinds of outdoor adventures. I didn’t really appreciate it then but I do now. I remember hiking down long cement stairs through a hill covered in greenery that led to a trail. I witnessed amazing waterfalls at the end of some of those hikes. And camping- we camped all the time. My brother and I would wander off into the woods to see what we could find. We climbed rocks, walked trails, and swam in lakes. My mom loved camping and fishing. My step dad owned a boat, so we would go out to Folsom Lake practically every weekend. As a teen I loved going out on the boat but not to fish. I had to work on my tan! And when we weren’t out on the boat, she would drive us to Folsom lake and find a place as far away from people as she could find (she wasn’t a big fan of crowds) and we’d spend the day there. I remember bringing my friend Leslie sometimes. We would make up names for dives off of different rocks and go exploring. My mom loved Reno, Lake Tahoe, the Bay Area, San Francisco, Downtown Sacramento and the Fisherman’s Warf. I think I got my love for places and scenery from her. For that, I am thankful.
I know as moms, we can be really hard on ourselves. I know I can. Did anyone see the movie, Mom’s Night Out? I won’t spoil it for you, but the character, Sarah Drew, didn’t feel like she was doing a good job at this whole ‘mom’ thing. She didn’t feel like she deserved to be called a good mom or that she was measuring up. I relate, I do. Instead of seeing all the good things that I’m doing right, I focus on the areas where I have dropped the ball. Anyone else do that? And then my vision becomes blurred by all the areas that I need to improve on and it feels overwhelming.
The other night while we were playing Skip Bo, our main computer was playing a slide show of my kid’s childhood memories. There were pictures of birthday parties and parks and Chuck E Cheeses and zoos and hikes and swim parks… and the photos scrolled on and on. And as we laughed and talked about different pictures I said “You guys were really good kids, I had a lot of fun with you.” And my now 14-year-old daughter said, “Wow, we had a really good childhood.” (Insert mommy heart-melting here).
So this blog is really for all of you mommies out there that feel like you’ve dropped the ball, haven’t done enough, hit cruise control for too long, or whatever area you feel like you are lacking in your parental skill. Guess what? God redeems everything.
You may not ever be ‘enough’, because you weren’t made to be enough. That’s where God comes in. His strength is made perfect in your weakness. And His mercies are new every single morning, without fail. You don’t have to be perfect for your kids, and really, you can’t. That’s Gods job. Your job is to love them, lead them, and point them to the One who is more than enough.
So to my mom, thank you for the adventures, praying we’ll have some more in Heaven. And if you’re like me and you grew up with a less than perfect mom, maybe today is the day to extend grace and forgiveness. I know that my mom did the best she knew how to do given her own childhood. Let’s face it- we all have our issues! And yet, God forgives us so quickly and every time. And to you reading this, if you’re a mamma, go ahead and celebrate you today! You are worthy and you are doing a good job and your kids will look back by the grace of God as I have been able to and my daughter was able to and say, “What an adventure we had!” Happy Mother’s Day…Be blessed!
And as I was about to hit ‘publish’ my daughter came down stairs with this for me…. (She knows I love her writing, but she never wants share it with me!) And yes, happy tears…