The card aisle was filled with flowery, poetic cards lauding the love and grace of mothers.
With my kids screaming in the background, the poetry was not aligning with the reality I was experiencing. Motherhood often does not feel so poetic.
Three years into parenthood, I am beginning to believe that all the cards I have given my mom through the years have not fully articulated the appreciation she deserves.
"Thank you for loving and taking care of me" only scratches the surface.
All things considered, that is the easy part.
It is the messy stuff that causes moms to sacrifice greatly, not the angelic babes sleeping peacefully.
It is the heart-wrenching, character-building mothering that she should be applauded and thanked for.
Now that I am a mother myself and am beginning to grasp what that means, here is what I think a Mother's Day card really ought to say:
I realize this list is not comprehensive, but here are a few things I am thankful for.
Thank you for shrugging off the carpet stains and broken dishes.
Thank you for making a home for us in the midst of all my messes.
I realize I was not as easy to live with as you made me believe. Thank you for objecting, but trust me, I know.
Thank you for always seeing my hidden potential.
Thank you for enduring the torrent of my emotions through my toddler, teen and, ahem, mothering years.
Thank you for betting on me, no matter the odds.
Thank you for believing I am smarter, funnier and more beautiful than I actually am.
Thank you for allowing every meal you ate to be interrupted.
Thank you for giving up your spare time and ability to do as you please.
Thank you for handling your own frustration better than I handled mine.
Thank you for letting me invade every sense of your privacy, from pregnancy, labor and delivery to following you into the bathroom for years.
Thank you for telling me “no” and loving me enough to let me be mad at you for it.
Thank you for being bound by your love for me every single day of my life.
Thank you for feeling my heartache and pain more acutely than I do.
Thank you for stretching and growing to become the mother I needed through each phase of life.
Thank you for sacrificing greatly, for giving of yourself when it was really hard to do.
Thank you for being my mom.
P.S. Mom, consider this your real Mother's Day card. You can disregard the one I bought from the store.
Motherhood often does not feel so poetic.