The sun still yawned under a light gray blanket this morning when the puppies and I headed out for our walk.
Josie, my grandpuppy, took the lead as usual; she's still excited about her visit to the country. Belle, my sweet companion, fell into step near me. She never strays too far from my side for long. Max lagged behind, probably worn out from trying to keep up with the youngsters all week.
Tomorrow evening my son, the newlywed, will be coming to take Josie home. I'll miss that little girl. We've had some great conversations and cuddle-time, but I look forward to seeing Tommy and hearing about their adventures in Italy.
This will be my Mother's Day visit from him, since I'll be in Houston visiting my mother on Sunday. I'll probably see the other two on Saturday. One might even travel with me to Houston, but it's still kind of iffy.
When the kids all lived at home, Mother's Day morning found me lying in bed, pretending to be asleep, listening to pans banging and Tom coaching them through fixing me a big bacon, eggs, and toast breakfast.
But once they started leaving the nest, it was rare to see them - especially all three at once - much less have a kid-cooked breakfast, because college finals usually fell around Mother's Day.
But I'm grateful I can spend that special day with my mom, trying to make up for way too many Mother's Days that I spent with my friends on a Galveston beach instead of with her. (Kids! Sigh.)
I also go see her because it would be wrong not to, when so many of you would give anything to be able to tell your moms Happy Mother's Day in person, just one more time.
Anyway, back to this morning's walk...
I spotted a butterfly clinging to a low juniper branch. It fluttered a bit but stayed put as I snapped one photo after another, drawing ever closer.
The fact that it didn't fly away worried and concerned me. For some reason, I got the impression it was stuck to the branch, trying to get loose. Wanting to help, I put my finger out to help free it. It climbed onto my finger, but then fluttered to the ground, wings out, lying still.
Oh great, I thought. Now what I have I done?
I shooed the dogs away from it and started to continue on my walk, but worry and guilt got the best of me. I returned to the butterfly, found a small twig, and put it near its little feet. It clung to the twig, so I lifted it back up to where I first found it. It returned to the juniper branch, so I dropped the twig, and, again, started walking away.
But...what if it really wanted to be on the ground? Maybe I helped it the first time and just messed things up the second time. What if...what if...what if...?
I said a prayer for the little thing, and kept walking, trusting God to fix whatever I might have screwed up.
Then I thought about my kids (because that's the way my brain works and it is almost Mother's Day, after all) and about all the times I tried to help them. So often I just seemed to mess things up instead of making them better.
What if...what if...what if...?
And that's when I told myself to just shut the heck up, because what's done is done. I can honestly say my kids are awesome people, and whether it was despite me or because of me, it doesn't matter.
I know I did the best I could along the way for those beautiful creatures God put in my life's path, just as I did the butterfly, always with lots of prayer. So I'll just keep trusting God to fix whatever I might have screwed up with my kids, too.
What more can we do, as mothers and fathers, and hikers in the woods?
So.... at the grocery store a little later, I indulged and bought some chocolate-covered strawberries.
Happy Mother's Day to me!
And Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers out there!
May you indulge yourself with forgiveness for any past (or future) parenting mistakes. You know in your hearts, as I do in mine, that you did the best you could, and most likely, you did a whole lot more right than wrong. Amen.
Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn't know you had, and dealing with fears you didn't know existed. ~Linda Wooten