I exited the shower one morning last week to find Mayhem standing in my bathroom announcing that I HAD to come to the office RIGHT NOW. Which is where she presented me with the most exquisite dress I’ve ever laid eyes on.
My eyes instantly filled with tears as I looked at her little face bursting with pride. But before I even had a chance to say anything, she gave me very specific instructions, “Hurry up and dry your hair, Mom. Then come back and I’m going to put the dress on you. And then I’m going to take pictures of you. OK? Oh and HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY MOM!!!” She threw her arms around me and squeezed as hard as she could. (For clarification, she constructed the dress a full week in advance of Mother’s Day, but after two agonizing days, she simply couldn’t wait any longer to gift it.)
I grew up in a family where homemade gifts were a standard. Time spent thinking about who the gift was for and what they might like was nearly equal to the time spent constructing a gift. Hand print pictures turned into bouquets and “coupon books” for stuff like hugs and chores were carefully written. Paper cups with flowers ready to bloom were always met with gratitude and hugs.
But then I grew up.
I decided buying gifts was better. I thought spending money was how I could show that I cared for others. I was proud that I had earned the money and could use it to find something I thought they’d love.
Then, along came Mayhem. And I grew up some more.
Spending time with that kid feels like a gift everyday. (ALMOST everyday … just keepin’ it real.) And watching her grow, learn, develop new skills, build confidence and test her independence is mind blowing for me. All the cliche parenting stuff I’ve ever heard is true. Parenting is hard. And rewarding. And gut wrenching. And exhilarating. And exhausting. And there’s simply no better job in the world (for me!). Totally cliche. Totally my reality.
As I walked back to my bathroom to dry my hair, I realized I might actually be growing up for real this time. I’m no different than all the other moms who wish for more sleep, quiet, coffee … yada yada yada, but I’m not even a little bit kidding when I say this dress is the best gift I could have received. Mostly because I know how very much time Mayhem sat by herself creating something just for me. It’s emotional to feel the impact you have on another person when it comes back to you.
I was drying my hair and thinking back over how much we’ve grown in the past year. It’s been a lot of new and exciting and sometimes scary and sometimes emotional adventures for us. There are days when it still doesn’t all feel real. I thought back to a couple of weeks ago when Mayhem was presented with her own “Mayhem” Barbie and I immediately started thinking about Ruth Handler. In case you’re not familiar with Ruth, she’s the creator of Barbie. And Ruth had a daughter named Barbara who used to sit on the floor, for hours on end, playing with paper dolls.
(I feel like Ruth and I would get along pretty well …) Ruth decided that Barbara and her friends needed a three dimensional figure to play with and dress up as they played out different characters and careers. And that was how Barbie was born. I wondered if Ruth had any idea how much of an impact creating something for her own daughter would eventually impact the world.
Then I started thinking about all the moms I know. The ones I know in real life and the ones that live in my phone via Instagram. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see proof of how very much each and every one of them is impacting the world. Not only by raising and encouraging their own children, but by cheering for and raising up their fellow moms. But I wondered if they know ….
I thought about the superhero theme we’ve spent much of the year focusing on and quickly envisioned passing out capes to every mom in the world. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that each time our little people reach out to us for help they have an undeniable certainty that “mom has the power to fix it”, no matter what IT is. Moms really are their little’s first superhero.
My thoughts were interrupted by the ever familiar “MOM!!!” It was photo shoot time.
I was whisked to the office where Mayhem got to work taping me into my dress.
Then she got behind the camera…
And instructed me on exactly how to pose …
When she said we had enough images, I spoke up and said, “not quite”.
Then I showed her how to set the camera timer and we had a little fun creating what in my mind are the most important images.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the
moms SUPERMOMS out there! May your day be filled with love and joy. And from one mom to another … thank you. Thank you for not only being an inspiration to your children, but for being an inspiration to me. I see you. And your invisible cape 😉
And a heartfelt thanks to Barbie (and Ruth Handler!). Not only for sponsoring this post, but for being a story that lives on about the impact a mom can have on the world by simply creating something to encourage her own child. It’s a story that inspires me deeply.