Yesterday I went for a haircut, and my older son came along with me. I’d just fetched him from work and he’d decided that he needed a haircut too. The hairdressers know us well; my boys love the extra special head massage you get when they wash your hair and we all enjoy the friendly banter. The ladies clearly enjoy what they do and are as comfortable with teenage boys as they are with middle aged moms. The last time I was there, was on the stormy night of my younger son’s matric dance, watching him have his hair styled for the big night.
As we chatted with the stylists afterwards, one of them said something. A few words that I will tuck into my heart and treasure. She said that my boys are lovely (a nice compliment in and of itself) and then added: ‘…and they love their Mama.’ Wow. Of all the things I could hear about my boys, that has to be the best.
This morning I was reading a blog post by Micha Boyett in which she shared about her challenges in the kitchen, and her son’s appreciation of her dinner making efforts. She talks about being a ‘woman who practiced loving everyday everyday everyday. A liturgy of care for my children.’ As mothers we know that liturgy, how we repeat it over and over again in the words spoken, the meals prepared, the hours spent running errands and mopping up spills. The form of the liturgy changes, but our hearts in the performance of it do not. Like Micha, I have struggled with some parts of mothering. Some things have been a diligent practice of skills that feel foreign and uncomfortable.
That is why those words yesterday were such a blessing. Whatever else my sons know about me, I want them to know that I love them. If someone can see that they love me too, then my work is (almost) done.