- Built in buddies to accompany me on the most mundane of errands. As my older daughter told me yesterday as we headed off to a long graduation ceremony, "It doesn't matter what we're doing. Just being together makes it special."
- The "shows" they put together for their daddy and me.
- Watching them sleep at night. They look so angelic as they slumber, it's hard to remember all the mischief they get into during the daytime hours.
- The constant reminders that little people are watching me. I watch what I say and what I do so carefully these days, knowing that even when I don't think I'm being scrutinized, I probably am.
- The built-in humility they offer on a daily basis. When I slip up and act in a way that is inconsistent with the values we are trying to pass on to the kids, they are very quick to spot it and point it out. Sometimes publicly. Ouch.
- Late-night talks while cuddling in bed as they fall asleep.
And the gift I wanted most? For the kids to get along well with each other today and play happily. They delivered, I'm proud to say.
As joyful as my heart is on this, my ninth Mother's Day, it is mixed with a measure of sadness for a number of friends and acquaintances:
- For the ladies in their 30's and 40's who would love to be moms but are still waiting and praying for God to bless them with a mate.
- For the couples who long for the blessing of a child in their home but struggle with infertility or repeated miscarriages.
- For our friends in Texas who recently lost their first pregnancy after only a few short weeks.
- For the moms who are grieving the loss of a child.
- For several friends who are spending their first Mother's Day grieving the recent loss of their moms.