Today is Mother's Day.
Today my husband is on two calls: one during the day and another overnight.
No, we did not celebrate with breakfast in bed. Yes, he got the baby changed and dressed so I could finish my breakfast at the kitchen table.
No, I did not get a bouquet of flowers. Yes, I got a bunch of weeds hand-picked by my daughter.
No, I did not get picture-perfect brunch. Yes, I got cupcakes made from scratch by 9 yo. I also complained on Friday how I'm falling on my face and chocolate would be a nice pick-me-up. My hubby pulled out a box of Godiva truffles. He anticipated what I would have liked, but he decided not to wait till Sunday to hand them over.
On Shabbos, he was also on call, and there was no childcare in our shul. My husband took three older kids to shul with him. 2 yo was in pieces about being left behind. I kept telling him how we will go to shul later, once the baby wakes up. We walked, while I pushed the stroller with the carseat. 2 yo stopped to examine every rock, every flower, every leaf, every bird. The walk that normally takes twenty minutes took us an hour. I was starting to get impatient, but I bit my tongue. This is his exploration opportunity. How often do we take walks at the pace of a 2 year old? How often do we literally smell every single rose bush? How often do we pause to acknowledge the ants? I was patient with him, especially since he walked and did not complain that his stroller is occupied by the baby.
(I was not so patient once we rounded the corner to the shul only to be greeted by my exiting family. We missed everything, and now we had to turn around and head back home. I left 2 yo in care of my husband and rushed back, trying to get home before the baby would wake up).
I was patient today when 9 yo was searching for an activity to do with me, special for Mother's day. He wanted to do a hike; just the two of us. I demurred, since I'm tied to the baby and my husband can be called up anytime. He settled on cupcake making. I sighed internally: I know how these baking things go; they are all nice and dandy until there is a spill and then the baby wakes up, and you are either rushing, or putting everything on hold. But I decided to be calm and patient about it. 9 yo really did everything himself (with some assistance from his sister). He got out the ingredients and the mixer, halved the recipe, measured and mixed. He ran out of patience when it was time to fill up small muffin cups. I was rewarded with cupcakes.
What motherhood taught me is patience. The baby will fall asleep eventually, the children will sleep through the night eventually, they will walk and talk eventually, they will say "please" and "thank you" eventually, and they will learn to read and write eventually. It just takes time. I used to worry and freak out a whole lot more about a whole lot of things. Having all these tiny human beings around allowed me to focus on what is important.
To all moms out there, no matter how young or how old: I wish you the gift of patience.