The one eyed beagle is baying at something in the yard. His deep, raspy howl penetrating my need for sleep. I counted. One… two… three howls. Four… five… six…  it was not going to end. Deciding that if he was waking me, my neighbors were at risk as well, I grabbed my robe and ventured out to see what the excitement was all about. My little boy was at full attention near the back wall of my house. Below his nose was a mouse, fat and clearly injured, surviving by not moving at all, my beagle taunting and teasing it before what was sure to be a brutal death.

A Single Mother's Mother's Day

Using treats as an incitement, I lured Jack back into the house. Locking the doggie door, I headed to my room to catch some more shut eye before the kids got up. I entered the hallway and my foot hit the bottom of a bathing suit, casually strewn from the night before’s pool party, and slipped on it, slamming my hip against my new interior door. Frustrated, I took a deep breath and threw the suit bottom into the growing pile of weekend laundry in the corner.

Hoping 15 minutes of rest would realign the sour mood that was growing, I climbed back up into bed. Unfortunately, I had forgotten the will of a one year old beagle when they saw something to play with. Jack scratched and whined at the back door, daring me to allow his furry play thing to enjoy the day without him.

Just then, my youngest daughter came in. She curled up in bed next to me and treated me to a rambunctious round of the coughing fits she has had for three weeks. I get up and get her some water to help clear her throat and she moves over to take my warm spot in the bed. Smiling at her 5 year old selfishness, I climb back in bed with her and wrap her in my arms. As soon as I get comfortable, she asks to watch a show. Seeing as I would really, really like to get some more rest, I get up and set the TV for her to watch.

Climbing back into my bed, hoping my 15 minutes will be now, my oldest comes in the room. ‘Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!’

I smile, a warm feeling of grateful love smothering my need to rest. She hands me her Mother’s Day gift from school, a bad of M&M’s with a note saying ‘Moms are the sweetest’ and give he a hug. My youngest hears the commotion and comes in, ready to show me her craft that she made for me in art class. Smiles all around, my middle daughter comes in and hands me her gift. As I open the mason jar with her painted hand prints all around it, I think this is all I need.

And it is.

Despite the fact that I had to ask the neighbor for a shovel so I could move the dying mouse. Despite the fact that I have already had to fold two loads of laundry to make room for the next load created by the weekend. Despite the fact that two of my girls want to take me out to breakfast while the third sits screaming in the middle of the floor that she wants me to make ‘Oma pancakes‘. Despite that I am tired and worn out and just want to crawl back into bed for 15 minutes. Despite that the house has to be cleaned, the dishes done, dinner prepped and the dogs fed. Despite the fact that 30 minutes was spent this morning chasing 2 dogs that got out when my child left the back door open.

This is what it is all about.

No flowers will be delivered, no children will be whisked away for a few hours so I can relax. No breakfast will be served in bed.

But my children are with me. Their smiles, their love, their need for me greater that the pomp and circumstance of the day. Their presence a reminder that every day is a celebration. Their mere existence proof that I have accomplished something great on this planet that can not be ignored.

A single mother’s Mother’s Day is just like any other day.

And I Thank God for that.

Happy Mother’s Day to every single mom, married mom, adoptive mom, widowed mom and mom to angels in Heaven. May it be one that you remember!