What do I want for Mothers Day?
Honestly, I’d love all of my children home, to share a meal, maybe steaks on the grill and sitting on the back patio talking, laughing, reminiscing. David’s famous homemade French fries- the best I’ve ever tasted- a glass of wine for me and my two elegant of-age daughters. A beer for the boys. Ok, half a beer for David because he really doesn’t like it anyway… lol. Ice cream for the younger girls. With fudge sauce. And whipping cream.
But that’s not going to happen.
And it’s ok. Its not their fault. Some live very far away, in cities where the jobs are better and they are following their dreams. It is too expensive to come home for just a weekend, with no extra day off.
It was a good choice, really, for them to move where opportunities are, to find love and life in a city unlike the one we are in. I’m glad. It’s better to be where it is healthier. Sunnier. Where they can use their talents and pursue careers where their natural gifts are properly utilized.
Still… I miss them.
What is the best gift I could receive from them on Mothers Day? Well. They are all so good about calling regularly. Sharing their lives with me ( for which I am grateful) I wouldn’t change one thing about my relationship with any of them.
But I will tell you what I’ve told them each, for many years- the best gift you -they- can give to me EVER- is to keep their Catholic Faith and live it fully, dangerously, fool-heartedly. Be radically KIND. Be COMPASSIONATE-not everyone has had the advantages you have, I’ve told them.
Wealth is not lasting. Fame is fleeting. Every material good will decompose. The only thing I can take to heaven is THEM, so I ask ( beg) they stay in a state of grace, be a channel of goodness and hope to those around them, and forgive me for my shortcomings as a mother. I tried hard. I will continue to try hard. But you know… that weakness thing;)
When I tucked my children in bed at night when they were toddlers, and adolescents, pre-teens, teens, I prayed with them and for them. I told them to go wherever God was calling them and to pursue their calling, but never ever lose their Faith. Because while I could stand an empty spot at the dinner table, I could never stand them not being who God chose them to be, or for them to neglect their Catholic faith and upbringing. To not be with them in heaven some day would be hell for me in earth.
Strong words. Right?
I know I sound radical. I’m sorry, not sorry;)
So… this Mother’s Day, when I appreciate the amazing gifts my own mother has given me ( value of family and commitment, devotion and sacrifice), and of the Blessed Mother, who is the role model to whom I strive to be, and as I see motherhood in our current culture devalued and demeaned, I just wanted to say that being a mother has been and will continue to be my greatest privilege and honor. To raise souls who are good and kind, compassionate and most of all love God, is the greatest privilege of my life.
No other career could have even come close. I will never regret giving 100 % of my time to this.
Happy Mothers Day to all mothers this weekend. It’s a bit early, but been on my heart and I had to say:)
Your job is important. The most important thing you will ever do.
The formation of a soul is God’s work. We help. What a gift!
Happy (early) Mother’s Day, fellow Mothers
Theresa Thomas is a stay-at-home mother of nine and the wife of David. She writes for Integrated Catholic Life , is a columnist at Today's Catholic News, and her second book Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families is available from Scepter Publishers. You can write to Theresa at TheresaThomasEverydayCatholic@gmail.com