After church this morning, my son asked to take a picture of me. One with just me, because it was Mother's Day. Inside I grumbled. I really don't like having my picture taken, especially ones that aren't silly selfies. Those don't come with an appearance standard, because who really looks good in those, anyways? I don't like the pictures where you have to smile at the camera and look pretty. I never tilt my head quite right, my face always seems to look funny, and my smile is huge and crooked.
But I held those grumbles inside, grinning hesitantly instead and conceding to his request.
I stood against the wall and smiled for my son.
Is anyone looking for a photographer? Because even I can look at that and say it's a great shot, especially for a first grader! Perhaps I should hand him the camera more often...
As I stared at the photo, my heart welling with emotion, I realized that this is how my son sees me. When he looks at me, he sees his mom. Smiling.
When my children look at my hands, they don't see the fingers of an elderly woman due to lack of moisturizing or rarely manicured nails. They see the caring hands of their mom. Hands that rub their back when they're tired. Hands that make them healthy meals and clean up the dishes when they're through. They see the hands that wipe away their tears when they're sad and bandage the wounds on their knees when they fall. Hands that give high fives and put tiny braids in their hair. Hands that prepare birthday parties and egg hunts and wrap Christmas presents. Hands that serve and love with tenderness, every day.
When my children look at my arms, they don't see the years of sun damaged freckles or the lack of definition. They see the capable arms of their mom. They see arms that wrap them in a big hug every morning, every night, and often in between. Arms that pick them up and carry them, because they still can. Arms that hold books and babies and toys and groceries. Arms that rock them to sleep and tuck them into bed every night. They see the arms that pick them up when they fall, arms that help. Arms that love to cuddle them on the couch and pull them close.
When my children look at my legs, they don't notice the pregnancy-induced veins or the fact that they desperately need a tan. But they know those legs of mine. They're the ones that chase them around the house, tickling them when I catch up. They're the legs that go on walks and play outside. The legs that have dance parties in the kitchen. When criss-crossed, they make a perfect seat for a toddler, and when they're sitting down, there's always room on their lap for a child or two. They're the legs who jump up and down at baseball games, who sit quietly and proud at concerts and graduations, and who fall on their knees in prayer.
When my children look at me, they don't see my wrinkles, my head tilted funny or a crooked smile. They don't see a person who's not thin enough, smart enough, or pretty enough. They do see their mom. They see past my outside to the person inside, and they can see my heart because they not only have my heart, but they are my heart.
They see a mom smiling back at them, a mom who loves them unconditionally. A mom who serves and sacrifices for them, a mom who would do anything or give anything for them. A mom who puts them first, every day, and who will do it all over again tomorrow. They see the hands, arms, and legs that make up the body of a mom who was perfectly engineered by the Divine Creator to take care of them. A mom who has everything she needs to do so, to care for them just right. As only their mom could.
That's who your children see when they look at you. They see their mom.
Isn't it about time we do the same??
Happy Mother's Day to all you mommies out there! You're the perfect one for your kids.
Share the love and pass it on!