KRISTINA BEERS: Joys of motherhood are invisible

This morning I was relishing in the calm after the storm of morning prayer (standard family ‘leave-for-school’ policy at our home) dishing out last-minute money (for food at a track meet), watching one boy run back and forth looking for all his accouterments (that he should have gathered the night before) and smirking at another hobbling around trying to put his shoes on and getting to the car before his brother leaves him.

Ahh. Quiet.

It was then I noticed my not-so-fresh-looking bouquet of Mother’s Day flowers. I adore fresh flowers, even more so on a special day. I am not one of those women who say they don’t want flowers (even though they secretly do) nor am I one who says she doesn’t want flowers because they die, so spend money on something else. I really do want flowers and I really do want you to spend your money on me because I love the beauty in such magnificent, simple creation. Not many things make me smile like a fresh flower.

So here I’m staring at this bouquet that has most definitely seen better days. It survived the first few hours on the outdoor table in the wind, tipping over twice, a few blooms beheaded due to a rogue Frisbee toss and refilling the vase after shooing the cat away from drinking the water. I finally decided to bring the vase in the house after narrowly escaping a wildly inaccurate baseball throw that nearly knocked the whole table down. All within in the first 24 hours.

This memory film played in my head while I sipped my hot coffee and smiled. You see, for me it isn’t necessarily about the flowers (although, if I’m being perfectly honest, sometimes it is) it’s more about the memories associated with the gift. I have a gift in the blooms themselves: I didn’t create them, they are provided as a great gift to me on this earth to shine beauty into the darkness. My children and husband purchased them for my happiness, to share their love and appreciation for what I do as a mother. And now, I have this great little memoir playing out, reminding me of the fun we had together outside on Mother’s Day when I look at them.

Like those flowers, I am a little beaten up, bruised, gone through a little tipping over and maybe lost some aspects of myself along the way in my life as a mother. Yet not only am I still here, I carry within a whole host of memories, a lot of laughter and a quiet beauty to the world.

All my daring dreams coalesce in a few transubstantial moments in my lifetime: a fleeting look from my 19-year-old son that whisks me back in time to his 2-year-old self, a full dinner table with each boy sitting at ‘his spot’ laughing over dad’s bad joke, or yelling out a name to “get up here and take care of this jacket!” like I’ve done a hundred times over. These and more I have experienced, much like staring at a vase of flowers that may look wilty on the outside, but hold such joy unseen to the naked eye. One day I hope memories spill from each of my darling’s own little film, bringing a smile to his face and warmth in his soul.

Kristina Beers lives in the Remus area with her husband and five sons. She shares her thoughts on parenting teenagers and young adults on the first and third Saturdays of each month.