Sunday, May 11, 2014

Creating Your Own Hallmark Moments

Well, Hallmark ... you did it again. You've made a mountain out of a molehill on this innocent Sunday in May. You did it to the 14th of February. You'll do it again on some Sunday in June.

I just watched a very true and touching video The World's Toughest Job and I almost wanted to change my mind about what I was about to write. Until I saw that the video was an ad for

I am a mom and I have a mom. I speak from only my own perspective. Disclaimer: my perspective has never been too keen on holiday celebrations.

First of all, I have a mom. She has done, does and continues to fulfill all of the roles of 'Mom'. I wish that she could just sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of her labor these days. But she takes this role to heart. And (apparently) all of her children are an extension of that strong, vivacious heart. She cares. She cheers us on. She supports us. She worries. Without end.

One time, she did mention that of all of the holidays, "Mother's Day" is the one that means the most to her. So I have done my best (since she told me that) to honor her on that particular day. But the thing is ... I don't just wait until that day. I write. Every week. We call each other. Any time. If I see a book that I think she will enjoy, I pick it up and send it off to her. Any day. I try to make it out to visit her. Whenever I can. She knows that my door is always open to her. And she uses it.

I don't need a reminder from Hallmark to go above and beyond. I just do it. Whenever and however the spirit moves me.

Will Mother's Day be a day that I mourn my mom a little harder when she no longer walks this earth? If the way I feel about Father's Day (without Dad) is any indication, I doubt it. Those days will come out of the blue. Like Monday mornings, when I go to write her a letter and realize I have no where to send it. When I find a book she would enjoy. When I find a clipping that I want to send her. When I want to run back 'home' for a little vacation and visit. When I plan a family gathering. When I want to ask her a question or tell her a story. And many more occasions that I cannot even begin to imagine.

I don't need a reminder to feel and think and act in a certain way. I simply endeavor to make it a habit. I expect nothing more of my own children.

I have special moments with my children when I least expect it.

Like when my Middle Son pokes his head into the living room with a cup of coffee in his hand. We never know where those conversations may take us. Coffee & us go together. Power visits in a coffee shop when we were both on our way to becoming self employed entrepreneurs (him, more than me; I was simply trying to pay the bills by working from home). An offer of a ride out to his farm ... with a coffee waiting for me in his truck. A spur-of-the-moment visit out to see my mom. And we always pick up a cup of coffee on the way out of the city. 'Mother's Day' = a cup of coffee with my son. Whenever the spirit moves us.

Then there are the intense, real conversations that I have with my Oldest Son when I least expect them. They cannot be forced. I have tried 'forcing' those moments since he was nine years old. I don't think that they really started to happen until about five years ago. We had a lot of time to make up for, so we had many deep and intense conversations for a long while. Then they subsided and it was impossible to force those moments again. But when they come, they are more real and more special than ever. There is a softening around his eyes and a vulnerability around his heart that I can see and feel when he lets his guard down. It is a gift when it happens. Because it doesn't happen often. 'Mothers Day' = a heart-to-heart talk with my son. Whenever or however it may occur.

My Youngest Son and I have many conversations-about-nothing-and-about-everything all at the same time. We connect on some level (almost) each and every day. We have bonded and shared stories over our Cat Time which happens here, there and everywhere. One night this week, he needed to tell me about his day at school and he took advantage of a four minute drive to unload some of the words that he had inside of him. He is almost sixteen years old and he talks to me. I hear his dad's voice within him but a friend gave me the biggest gift of all when she told me that she hears a piece 'me' within his conversation and demeanour. 'Mother's Day' = making the most out of every day moments with my son. As often as time and life permits.

My Children, I don't need any special acknowledgement on Mother's Day. But I do appreciate these little gifts of coffee, conversation and shared time sprinkled unexpectedly throughout the year. I don't need flowers, cards or food to appease me. Especially when given under duress. All I want, is for you to know that the door to our home and my heart is always open. Walk in any time (and if you bring coffee with you, I'll take a little cream with that. Thank you).

However you celebrate this day, may it bring warm memories of those small, inconsequential moments with your own mom. Those little 'moments in the sun' that bring a piece of contentment to your heart. If it warmed your heart, you can bet that your mom's heart was full to overflowing with love and joy in that moment. And that she savored more of those moments than you will ever really know.

It is the little things that count. Make the most out of the moments as you find them and you will create your own Hallmark Moments each and every day.

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