It was an invitation printed in a fancy calligraphy font to a Mother's Day Tea at school.
She was beaming up at me -
I immediately had mixed emotions and wasn't sure what she was thinking.
(she's the quite one)
So I asked, "Do you want me to come, or do you want me to see if your mom can come?"
"I want you to come." she replied, "I'm scared for my mom to come."
"Scared? Why?" I asked.
"I don't know" she said, "will you come?"
"Of course, I will come" I said with more confidence as I placed the invite on the fridge.
For the next seven days, every time she opened the fridge -
"You're coming, right mom?"
"yes, I will be there"
"You will come?"
"Yes, I will come"
"Are you still coming?"
"I promise, I will be there"
What disappointments has a small child been through to be so unsure of promises made?
On the day of the event, I walked into the school cafeteria.
The children had made place mats for their moms and there was cookies and tea.
Each class had memorized a poem about moms and the entire 2nd grade learned a song in music class called, "Thanks Mom"
(*this isn't the McCool students - but it is the only video I could find of the song)
After they joined us at our seats for tea and cookies -
they had drawings and poems and all kinds of things to share.
Since the girls call their parents mom and dad and also call us mom and dad....
I am never sure when I see papers and notes that say, "I love mom" or
"I love dad" who they are directed to.
But it touched my heart that this one was meant for me.
My mom always says I love you.
My mom looks pretty when she puts on her dress.
My mom likes to cook.
My mom makes me laugh when she tickles me.
I love my mom because she adopted me.
Happy Mother's Day!
And her drawing of her family,
is the Thorntons.
God, help me - even in my own failures to show these kids just a glimpse of what it should be like to be loved unconditionally. Please don't let me fail them in the short time they are here. Help them to grow and be strong and confident and smart and work hard to provide for their own families one day. Let them see me being selfless, instead of selfish where others needs are concerned.
And God - thank you for my own mother. Who was always there. Who came to every class party,
and every school performance and PTA meetings, and volunteered for making hundreds of cookies and painting backdrops, and selling stupid things like calendars and cheese for fund raisers and band trips.
For probably doing without something she wanted so I could have a prom dress or a class ring or during those years when times were tough - just a new pair of shoes. I'm sorry I took those things for granted. I naively thought all mothers did the things my mother did for me.
Happy Mother's Day mom -
Thanks for everything - really - all of it.
I love you!