Earlier this week, I asked Luke and Lane:
“Hey guys, what’s something cool Daddy has taught you how to do?”
And without hesitation, they rattled off a list of extreme amazingness:
“Plant a garden”
“Build a climbing wall”
“Start a campfire”
“Wow. That’s so cool.” I say. “Daddy has taught us so much! We have such a great Daddy.”
And then I lob the obvious follow up question: “So what are some cool things that Mommy has taught you how to do?”
“Well . . .”
“Hmm . . ”
“Umm . . ”
I guess I should be thankful they didn’t say things like:
“How to scream”
“How to burn dinner”
“How to turn on the TV”
To have received Steve in God’s lottery of fathers is to have totally lucked out. He’s got so many fascinating experiences and interesting skills. Adventure guide, pirate, and Renaissance man. Who needs Disneyland when you have Steve Tankersley as your father? I know all this is true, AND YET . . .
I’m not going to lie, I was just the tiniest bit crestfallen.
All the time. All the investment. All the thinking through and planning ahead and decision making on their behalf. All the little moments when they’re on my mind or in my lap. All the intangibles. And they couldn’t think of one thing? Not one thing?
These moments cause you to question what it’s all worth, what you’re doing with your days anyway, what the sacrifice and investment amount to. Cue the swirling, toxic, crazy-brained thinking that takes me down down down. AND THEN . . .
A very small miracle.
Later that same day, we were headed home after a long afternoon at the park. Luke, staring out his window, said in a quiet voice, “Mom, look. It’s the last light of day.” And Lane said, “Yeah, mom. Isn’t the sky beautiful.” Elle sucked her two fingers, with great skill, like she always does.
To all the mothers out there who can’t always keep up with the latest anything on pinterest . . .
To all the mothers out there who sauté onions and garlic in the pan (so the house smells like dinner) while you’ve got dino-nuggets in the oven . . .
To all the mothers out there who ate something off the floor today because your kid dropped it and you were ravenous . . .
To all the mothers out there who skipped your shower, yet again . . .
To all the mothers out there who are home . . .
To all the mothers out there who are at work . . .
To all the mothers out there who nurture creativity, observation, beauty-scouting . . .
To all the mothers out there who are, at every turn, trying to reinforce your child’s unique perspective on the world . . .
To all the mothers out there who are tempted to think your kids aren’t listening or watching or caring . . .
To all the mothers out there who spend your days, your nights, your very lives imparting the intangibles to your kids . . .
To all the mothers out there who point out the sky, the last light of day, the little moments unfolding around your kids throughout the day . . .
IT ALL MATTERS.
Happy Mother’s Day.