Beautiful and Unexpected Lessons

The day began early. Around 5:30 a.m. we were sipping hot coffee and opening the garage door in anticipation of our first customer. By 6:00 a.m. everything was displayed on our driveway like some sort of traveling show of our lives. Baby bouncer, carseat, highchair, various knick knacks and tons of baby clothes all waiting to be taken to their new homes.

I gently laid all of the little outfits my daughters (and even my son if you can believe that. He is 13!) had worn as infants. I stood there clearly remembering the birthday when B wore the little yellow dress with the ducks on it. Then there was the little red and white outfit dotted with strawberries that I remembered had brought out the gold flecks in S’s beuatiful eyes, how H used to twirl around in the green skirt pretending to be a Prima Ballerina before she even knew what ballet was. I stood there amazed too that my son was ever that little.

I seriously considered dragging it all back into the garage. I was suddenly gripped with fear at the prospect of letting it all go but my practical side wrestled with my sentimental side and won.

The first customer picked up the strawberry dress and my heart sank. As she handed me her dollar I was so tempted to make her aware of just how special that dress was. I wanted her to appreciate that she had just purchased a valuable and cherished memory for a single dollar bill but I fear she simply walked away with a dress.

An Amish couple expecting their first child loaded up a wagon tied to the back of their buggy with everything one would want for a newborn. Baby bouncer, highchair, traveling crib and even a carseat (???). The soon to be dad stacked the items in the wagon as expecting mommy steadied the horse. Soon they were driving down the road pulling more of my memories behind them. I really kicked myself for not taking a picture. That may sound silly but it was a profound moment for me. In that moment I realized I had unconsciously made the decision not to have any more children. When was that decision made? Practicality once again stepped in and had made the decision final without consulting me directly. My heart tends to be a bit sensitive and as such is usually the last to know things.

The day was just OK as far as how much work I put into it vs how much profit we made. I felt beat up afterward so none of it felt really worthwhile until I remembered what we had done it for- our new swingset.

My daughters came to me later after touring the neighborhood in search of their own bargains (I have taught them well) and arrived back home with bags of gifts for Mother’s Day poorly hidden behind their backs which I found absolutely adorable. They proclaimed proudly that they had decided they did not want to go to McDonalds (their treat from the muffin fiasco) for breakfast on Mother’s Day but instead stick to the original plan and cook for me. I was extremely touched and only slightly concerned that I was out of Mylanta.

So I spent my Mother’s Day morning having a lovely (and surprisingly unburned) breakfast with my children and my husband. They each presented me with a gift they had purchased. A treasure found the day before. I was thinking how ironic it all was. I couldn’t help but wonder if any of my neighbors became sentimental as they watched a six year old ride away tightly clasping a basket filled with plastic pine boughs and tiny plastic Christmas ornaments. Had it been given to them by their now college aged son? Or perhaps they were standing there speechless as an eight year old bargained them down from one dollar to fifty cents for a porcelain bunny given to them by their child from some Mother’s Day past? Would I someday watch those precious items walk away in the hands of a stranger and remember with fondness this Mother’s Day? Probably. Practicality is a fierce condtender for matters of the heart, a relentless bastard with absolutely no regard for sentiment. In the meantime though these gifts are mine to treasure.

Some things I learned on Mother’s Day~

My six year old daughter knows how to say the word metamorphasis and how to use it in a sentence.

She knows that above all else I love my children.

She loves me more than McDonalds.

My daughter S pays attention to what I say and what I do even though I may not always think she does.

She is confident and strong.

She knows her mind and also knows the value of negotiation.

She loves me more than McDonalds.


My son is strong, unselfish and helpful.

He doesn’t mind getting up early to help us with a garage sale even though he would much rather be sleeping.

He is respectful and kind to strangers.

He has grown from a baby to a grown boy and will be a man in barely the blink of an eye.

He adores his mother almost as much as she adores him.

I learned that my husband is actually quite good at salvaging breakfast being made by little hands. That he is not so good however at cleaning up afterward. He is caring and giving to the extent that he would actually drive for an hour AFTER having a garage sale to pick up the rest of the swingset, drive an hour back home and put half of it together working until he could no longer see for how dark it was outside. That he is the absolute best father our kids could ever ask for.

I learned that my baby girl can climb up a ladder and go down a slide more than fifty times without stopping and that her out of breath-thank you for my new swingset-hugs are the sweetest in the World.

Last but not least as I sat admiring my son’s card and reading his words “you are the best mom in the world and the only one in my heart”, I learned this important Mother’s Day lesson~

That although I think it would be far less complicated to only have one mother, in my heart I have two and there they shall remain. Whether they like it or not. Whether they truly appreciate it or not. Whether they graciously accept it or bother to reciprocate it, it doesn’t matter. Practicality lost this battle and in retrospect it really never had a chance because as fierce as it may be~ MOTHER trumps all.

I hope each and every one of you had as beautiful a weekend as I did.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Beautiful and Unexpected Lessons

  1. Oh Mia, this was just beautiful. You had me in tears. What a perfect weekend and a beautiful way of seeing it.

    I remember lots of practicality trumping conscious thought moments, but never thought of them that way. I remember the very moment I realized my second child would be my last baby. The tears just pointed to a decision that had been made without my awareness.

    Happy mom’s day. Your kids sound wonderful 🙂

  2. Well, color me sobbing. I have all of Nick’s clothes through three months packed away and I’m NEVER EVER giving them away. Of course, when I say that, my Husband looks at me like I have two heads. What? We don’t have an unlimited amount of space to store things we’ll never use again? sigh.

    Happy Belated Mother’s Day.

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