It’s Plank Pullin’ time! The one day a week that we strongly resolve to ignore the multitude of specks and sawdust around us and pull one bona fide plank from our own eye. Matthew 7:3-5, style.
My plank of choice this week fell squarely on Mother’s Day. I pretty much woke up in a bad mood. I was bitter, I was cynical, I was expecting to be disappointed. It makes me mad at myself for caring. It’s just a day! But it never fails, on Mother’s Day, I inevitably feel bitter towards my responsibilities as a mother.
As I was getting the Wild Things dressed for church, I found myself angry that the Husband didn’t offer to dress them on this special day. When I saw all the laundry that needed to be folded, I was angry that the Husband didn’t even consider folding it for me. Etc. Etc.
I spend Mother’s day – every year – being bitter.
But this year, after a fairly bitter morning, I was crossing the breezeway of our church to go from Sunday School to the service – and I saw Linda’s house across the street. Many of you weren’t reading this here blog the last time I talked about Linda. She’s a sweet, vibrant Guatemalan lady who lives beside my church. With a killer smile.
She left her children in Guatemala to come to America to find work – and now she sends her Guatemalan Wild Things money every week for school and food and … life.
And in that split second of spying her home – I knew. I needed to take Linda to a Mother’s Day lunch.
So after church I crossed the street and knocked on the door. She was there, of course. Sitting in her sweats, watching Sex in the City. She gave me a big hug and I wished her Happy Mother’s Day I told her that after I took my family home I would come back and treat her to lunch. “I be ready”, she said.
When I did come back, she had transformed into a beautiful Guatemalan mother. She had put on a dress, slipped on some heels, applied some lip liner, and drawn on some eyebrows. :) She looked radiant.
I took her to Ruby Tuesdays and we avoided the long wait by sitting at the bar. We ate chips and guacamole and talked about her kids. We talked about her job, and her sister, and her brother, and her mama and papa.
We talked about when she first came to this country with no English and the ladies at the convenience store didn’t understand that she was pointing at her pants because she needed maxi pads, and just kept trying to show her the bathroom and how embarrassing it was.
We talked about how her son keeps having a cough that won’t go away and how they say her daughter is anemic so her sister sends vitamins from California and she mails them to Guatemala.
But mostly we just laughed. We laughed at the language barrier, we laughed about our families, we laughed at the silent infomercial playing on the tv behind the bar. We laughed because the salmon was good, the weather was gorgeous, and the company was to die for.
And after I dropped her off back home – after more hugs, and Mother’s Day wishes, and her showing me the boxes of kitchen appliances she bought at yard sales to mail to her kids – I didn’t feel so bitter anymore.
I felt thankful. And appreciative. And … happy. Thankful for my children, my home, my country – even my responsibilities.
And I went home, and happily folded the laundry.
So, take that Mother’s Day – and bitterness plank. You suck.
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