I've been thinking about moms a lot lately. It was Easter that got me thinking about them – about many of you. Church services on Easter morning were predictably crowded, and though our family got to the church early (prior experience taught us that was necessary... a hard lesson to learn by experience!), there were many, many others scrambling for seats. There was hardly a single seat left, so when a mom and her two kids came down the aisle and saw two seats in the row in front of us and the one next to me, she (rightly) figured this might be as good as they got. Unfortunately, her kids were young and neither wanted to sit by themselves, and she didn't want to leave them to sit by themselves. So they took the two seats and put one child on her lap.
We had seven people in our family. Splitting up wouldn't really feel like splitting up. Besides, we feel very at home in our church, which clearly this mom didn't. So my husband and I left our kids with the grandparents so she could have three seats together, and he and I sat in their seats.
In front of us, then, was a new family. A mom with three kids. And I started looking around, and I realized how many moms were there with kids without dads. And I wondered, where did all the dads go? We live in a highly military area, so it's likely there are quite a few overseas. But maybe some of the dads just didn't want to go to church. Maybe some of these are single moms.
And I couldn't help but watch these moms all alone, struggling to juggle the kids and their crayons and the trips to the bathroom at the most inopportune time and keep them quiet and in their seats. I thought about all of the moms I know who do this every day at home, husbands or not. Us moms who stay up until our eyelids can't stay open to sew costumes for school or shop for posterboard for projects thought up at the last minute. Who have to juggle six schedules and be three places at once. Us moms who give up precious writing time to take forgotten gym clothes to school or pick up drum sticks to replace the lost ones. Us moms who bake cupcakes for school parties or buy cookies to send in because there just isn't time to bake. Who feed their broods three meals a day and keep the drawers full of clean clothes and moderate fights and still manage to play outside a little when they beg. Moms whose hearts ache for their kids when they cry and fight the urge to go beat up the kid who broke their hearts. Moms who sleep on the cold floor when their kids are sick all night.
Moms totally rock.
And somewhere in there, I realized this is why I write what I do. Some of you are YA/MG writers, because you have a heart for kids. I get this, because I taught middle school and led Campus Life groups and taught Sunday School. I love kids.
But as I've gotten older, I find myself constantly reassuring other moms that what they do is important, that they aren't alone, that they are AMAZING for doing the things no one notices but everyone needs. For the sacrifices they give every day in putting others first.
I love moms.
Yesterday our family went to see How to Train Your Dragon. Among our discussions afterward (because that's our family's favorite part of seeing a movie - talking about it over ice cream!), I remarked, "It's not even Disney and they still killed off the mom! What is it with kid's movies always having a dead mom!!" (This has always really bugged me...).
And my husband said something that seemed utterly profound.
It's because with a mom, there wouldn't be the story, because the mom would do anything to protect her child, would make sure they knew they weren't alone, would nurture them and love them and talk with them when everything looked black. A mother would deal with the overbearing or demanding dad. In other words, a mom would let the air out of the pressing crisis.
So I know it was Easter and not Mother's Day, but this is what was on my mind. I love you moms. I get how hard it is. And every little thing you do matters. Even if no one notices. It matters.
You totally rock!