Aside from the very cool, sleek, new digital camera that I got from Phil, of course. Really, the best Mother's Day present ever is just being a Mom and experiencing the things that children are made of. Yesterday, on Mother's Day, Rachel stood up for the first time all by herself! She just stood there...for about 5 minutes smiling, and holding on to *nothing*! I was very excited. It was so cute. She also fed herself for the first time yesterday. It was too funny. Her eyelids were almost glued shut by the time she was done from all the macaroni on it. Thanks to my new handy, dandy (and fancy) camera, I was able to catch a few pics and a video (of the eating...not the standing...the camera came after the standing, and my old one is officially dead - RIP):
Haha..I have no idea what this expression is about ;)
Then, there are the times when, after months and months of constant reminding, the kids finally pick up on using manners! This is really the best. I've been working with Rachel on teaching her sign language, especially please and thank you. Supposedly, it helps with tantrums and whining. Today, she was sitting at her little table, playing with an empty cup and a straw. She dropped the straw and started fussing. I told her, "Rachel, please don't cry...say 'please'". Well, she immediately stopped crying, did the sign for 'please', and said 'peeees'. It was awesome! I realize she is young, and we've still go a LONG way to go, but still! It was very gratifying.
Or, there are the times when their imaginations are just so precious, you just want to squeeze them. Andrew told me today, "Mom, when you grow up, I want you to be a princess...and, when Daddy grows up, I want him to be a pirate. And, can you and Daddy buy me a real Pirate Boat?!?!". He was serious about this!
And, of course, there are those rare moments and treasures when they actually tell you that they think you are a good parent. Natalie does this most often. Once every blue moon, she'll just climb on my lap and say something like: "Mom, you are the best mom...you're so kind and gentle." (She actually told me this once, months ago, so I figure I'd better get it in writing as proof ;).
Those are some special moments. Those are what make Mother's Day worth celebrating, and what make me glad to be a mother. Because, sometimes, when I'm in the trenches and caught in the day-to-day mundane, and the kids are fighting and arguing, or we're all exhausted from lack of sleep, or if I'm so tired of changing dirty diapers I just want to cry, and I forget about the better moments, I think...if I could just not be a Mom for today, my life would be so much easier! But, that is not my calling in life. Christ didn't come so we could have an easy life on Earth, but so that we could have Eternal Happiness in Heaven. But, it only works out that way if we keep our hand to the plow here and now...no matter how much we want to drop it and look back. C'est la vie! I'm just so thankful that God gave me these particular children, and my particular husband. I don't think my sanctification would have benefited as much without them.
Plus, the fact that we spent the entire day just relaxing together as a family, and my husband both fixed dinner and cleaned up the kitchen after dinner, certainly made the day extra special. Thanks, Phil, for making my Mother's Day so wonderful!!