Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Mother's Day to Remember

"Welcome to your first Mother's Day," my sister said to me with a smile while we were standing on the sidewalk outside the restaurant, in an effort to pacify my 10-month old while we waited on our delayed meals. 

Though our reservation was for lunch, my first Mother's Day had already proven to be a real doozy. 

Caroline spiked a 102.5 fever the evening before. We spent the evening and night checking on her. At 4:00 AM she decided to start her day, fever and all. I rocked her from 4:00 - 5:30, when she finally went back to sleep. But Cody and I didn't. 

This was also the Sunday that our church moved to new service times. Our later service time had been eliminated, so we planned on attending an earlier one. No problem, right? Unless you've got your little one on a strict schedule. It threw our whole morning off. That, and lack of sleep. 

We made it to church on time, tossed Caroline into the loving arms of some woman in the nursery, telling the church ladies good luck, and went two floors up to our beloved balcony seats. We try to one-up the back row Baptists. The service about mothers was wonderful, I of course cried, and in no time we went back downstairs to retrieve Caroline. We were met with this: 
"We made her a bottle but there were no tops in the bag, so we couldn't feed her. She's ready to eat!" said the gal working the nursery. 

Strike One. 
How do we pack for a Mother's Day out, without packing the most important part of the bottle? 

Between church and lunch we stopped at K-Mart to buy the missing parts we needed. K-Mart is a shell of what it used to be and barely keeping the lights on; still, it took Cody 15 minutes to find something suitable to feed a fussy, hungry 10-month-old. 

We arrived to The Olde Richmond Inn (mom's favorite) fifteen minutes early so I could feed and change Caroline before the rest of our family got there. Except, Caroline was having absolutely no part of the new K-Mart sippy cup and there was too much going on around her for her to want to eat anything from a spoon, at all. 
She was hangry and defiant: A dangerous combination.
So, I decided to cut to the chase and change her diaper. 
Except the diaper tote wasn't inside the diaper bag. 
It was sitting on the dinning room table at home. 

That's right. 
Strike Two. 
In our haste to make the earlier church service,  we planned a Mother's Day Off the Farm without any diapers. 
Not one diaper. 
No wipes.
No cream. 
I thought he grabbed them. 
He thought I grabbed them. 

By the end of the two-hour lunch (wait service was shoddy), Caroline was 12 pounds heavier and soggy as a swamp. Anyone who wanted to hold and kiss her was warned that their clothes would need dry cleaned. 
No one seemed to care, but me. 

The lunch itself...
We love this restaurant, but this meal was so disappointing. My medium-rare filet was so over-cooked that my throat closed and I spent 30 minutes in a bathroom stall trying to get a tiny (look at the size of your middle finger nail - it was that small) piece of over-cooked beef dislodged. It was awful. 

But then came the voice from one stall over...

I knew she was over there because she was having one heck of a time getting her panty hose pulled back up. Misery loves company and on this particular day mine came from the next stall. 
"Honey, you need me to tell someone out there that you need some help?"
"No ma'am, I'm fine. Thank you," I responded, quite embarrassed. 
Suddenly, a loud and unsolicited prayer came from a stall away:
"Lord Jesus we need you! Lord Jesus protect this lady; and Jesus please make it end soon. End It Soon Jesus! Amen."

I stood there in my Sunday best, staring at a framed mid-century postcard that needed dusted inside a wallpapered bathroom stall and thought to myself: Happy Mother's Day, indeed. 
"Amen," I echoed Miss Daisy. 

That evening I did dishes as the sun slowly moved behind the milk house. 
I could hear Cody zipping around the farm on the Kubota, working another hour before dark. 
I was thinking that it's a shame I didn't double my supper recipe so I could have lunches this week. I was thinking how our kitchen window needs replaced so badly; I can't even see the tree where Caroline's swing hangs. Maybe it just needs washed really well. I was thinking about how I went to church and town without diapers. I can't believe I did that. 
And then I felt two little hands 
grab ahold of my leg, tugging with gentle force and with great confidence. I stopped with my hands in a sink full of soapy water and looked down at a little face so full of joy and pride, as she stood hugging my leg. 

And it was in that moment that I realized - despite the fever, no bottle, no diapers, throat closure, stall-sister prayers - this was the best Mother's Day of my life. 

Thank you, God, 
for showing mothers grace 
on days that we 
don't think we deserve it. 

Side note:
 I came home yesterday to a new kitchen window. I'm serious.
I believe God truly hears the desires of our heart. 
And every once in a (great, great) while after enough complaining,
I guess husbands do, too. 

Trim from the Compromising Crib

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