When I was a little girl, my favorite thing in the world was spending the day out with my mom. She wasn't a huge shopper, but we could spend a whole Saturday walking around BookStop and grabbing Indian Summer Soup at Good Eats. Or we'd share a tub of popcorn at the movies and then go out for ice cream.
On one particular Saturday, I begged her to take me to Chic-Fil-A for chicken nuggets. She had suggested that we could try a different place instead, but I insisted on the nuggets. So she drove through Chic-Fil-A to get my chicken, and then we headed over to the other place so that she could run in and grab her food. When she got back into the car with a bowl full of tomato basil soup from La Madeleine and asked me to just try it, I turned my nose up. But the smell was irresistible, and I gave in and gave it a try, and I remember thinking that it was the best thing I'd ever tasted. (Obviously it was. That soup = heaven.)
And then I kept eating. And eating. Until I eventually looked down and realized that I had eaten all of her soup, my chicken nuggets now cold and long forgotten.
And she never said a word.
For the rest of my life, I will remember that moment, because it epitomized the selfless, and often thankless, approach my mom took to mothering. And that's exactly how I always saw her: selfless and loving.
Now that I'm an adult, we've had so many conversations about her perceived failures as a mom. In fact she still worries about things she did and wonders whether they screwed me up in some way. (For the eleventy billionth time, Mom, I'm fine. I promise!)
So when a friend posted this video on Facebook, I had to stop and watch it.
Bottom line: as moms, I think we are always going to feel inadequate. Because if we're doing any one thing fabulously, then we're probably failing miserably at something else. The result is that we give as much of ourselves as we can to the people and the things that we love, but then I think we need to learn to let the rest of it go. Because, clearly, the tiny people who matter the most think we hung the moon.
As my mom said to me when I emailed the link to this video to her (after one of our expert witnesses stumbled into my office to ask me for the wi-fi password and found me sobbing uncontrollably at my desk... awkward):
"When you're running around like a crazy person trying to get everything done - trying to get Gracie and her little sister* to school and they're yelling at each other, and you are once again feeding them Lucky Charms or Cinnamon Toast for breakfast instead of something healthier because you didn't have time to go to the store, and you have to get a brief filed by 5:00 but you still have to go to lunch with that group of baby attorneys because you promised, and Micah has already left for work, and your shoe breaks and it all seems like it's going to hell in a hand basket - just remember that its all going to be okay."
So be proud, mamas, of the tiny, seemingly insignificant acts of selflessness you pour your heart into each and every day. You may think you're just sharing your soup, but I have a feeling you're sharing much more than that.
* No pregnancy announcement is forthcoming, y'all. Just wanted to make that clear. :)