I love you. Remember that as you read this letter.
You haven’t been in school for your teachers to let you know, but Mother’s Day is almost here. I don’t want to set you up for failure, so I wanted to give you a heads up. Please see below a simple list of ideas to reference for planning or to read through on Mother’s Day.
I don’t know if any of you know this, but to use the restroom, I don’t actually need an audience or any company. I am not afraid to do this on my own. Today, let’s give it a shot and see how I do.
In our house, we have this special container that has a very specific use. I know it is so very tough to remember it exists because we’ve only reminded you about it literally every single day of your life, but it is called a trash can. “Well, Mom,” you ask, “what goes inside of said ‘trash can?’” Hold on tight, little ones, this will surprise you — trash. Your trash goes inside of the trash can. Let’s make great use of your precious brain today and put trash where it belongs!
The cups. Oh my goodness, THE CUPS! Just for today, can you each please just use one? Choose a cup, put it in a place you’ll remember, rinse it out between uses and continue using the same one.
While we’re on the topic of one — take a moment and look down. Do you see the clothes you’re wearing? Whatever mismatched combo that may be, go ahead and keep that on until tomorrow. I don’t care if it gets wet. I don’t care if you get marker on it. Guess who is going to see your clothing — the very same people who have been looking at you for the past 7-8 weeks. We are going to judge you no matter what you’re wearing.
I do a lot for you people. I’m not complaining, I love to do it … well, I love you, and I love to do things for you, but today I reserve the right not to do them. I might do them. I might not.
Today, I’m going to take a long, hot bath. No, you cannot get in too. No, not even ‘just your feet.’ No, I do not care how many days it’s been since you’ve had a bath. This bath is mine.
Go outside! Go play! No need to come back in and check on me. Just for today, I can suffer through you playing without me.
Give me things I like. Back rubs, snacks, gifts, dance parties, quiet. If you’ve ever heard me say, “I love ________.” That would be a good gift. You don’t have to use your imagination here.
Saved the best for last, and this one is a little more serious. Sometimes I feel like I’m not a great mom, and sometimes I worry that you wish I was different. What I want most today is for you to tell me what you love about me. Tell me how what I do makes a difference to you. You are my very favorite kid(s) in the whole wide world — your compliments and love mean more to me than you will ever know.
Thank you for reading and for being so cute. I love you!
Aly Shahan is the associate director of the Wesley Foundation campus ministry at Oklahoma State University, mother of two and wife to a United Methodist pastor. She is passionate about building community with women through vulnerability, honesty, encouragement and laughter. Follow Aly on Instagram: @AlyShahan1