One of the great wonders of parenting is the loads of fresh insight you gain on your parents. The problem of course is that this newfound wisdom was not in your head when you were a child. So, as I watch my wife juggle work, and meals, and laundry, and dishes, and birthday parties, and cleaning, and working out, and family time, and dance recitals, and preschool, and helping with homework and everything else that she does I end up simultaneously marveling at the mother of my children, and the woman who had the great chore of raising me.
As someone who is an observer of motherhood it seems to me that one of the hardest parts of the undertaking is the lack of appreciation inherent in living with children and unfortunately a few husbands (get it in gear guys). I see my wife go nonstop, and one of the thoughts that she rarely voices but I know is in her head is why don’t they notice. When she was dead-tired, had a migraine, and still cleaned the floor why don’t the children notice that and make a concerted effort not to turn the dining room into a mine field of crumbs and spills? Why do they think that an organized living room is an invitation to unceremoniously dump every toy that they own in the middle of the floor? How many times does she have to tell them where their shoes are? Is she invisible? Does anybody even see what she does?
Over the course of my life I’ve seen my mom do a lot. I’ve seen her handle incredibly tough situations with grace and kindness. I’ve seen her persist in loving people that I had long since given up on. I’ve seen her fight cancer and win. I’ve seen her put up with my dad and I, something for which she deserves every award imaginable. I’ve seen her care more about a lot of people than their own mothers did. I’ve seen her out-work pretty much every other human I have ever known. I’ve seen her passionate about her faith. I’ve seen her embody love, and mercy and forgiveness.
So today of all days I want to say to my wife, to my mom, and to all of the Mothers out there that the rest of us most definitely do see what you do. We love you, we appreciate you and at times we are even a little bit in awe of you. And even if we don’t say it as often as we should, we would never want to see where we would be without you, and not just because we couldn’t find our shoes.