There are many worldly accolades, awards, medals and prizes that pass mothers by. But a good mother is deserving of the highest award!
And this was on my mind the other night. It was bedtime for my two little guys - 3 and 8. For those who don't know me, our children have Asperger's Syndrome which can make life rather tricky/joyful/exciting/confusing and often exhausting. Our 8 year old also has ADHD which I feel confident we can calm down when we find the right way to do things - the magic mix of elusive supplements/exercise/rest/diet/activities specific to his needs - but of course, that could take years, and in the meantime he still needs parenting, loving, validating, listening to, playing with, teaching, leading, cleaning up after, training, refereeing when interacting with others etc.
This this particular night, the older children were playing a game with Daddy at the kitchen table. I took the younger two to bed, and attempted to read their bedtime story.
So there I was - lying on my bed, exhausted at the end of the day, one small boy rolling around from my bed, onto his, and back again, flinging teddies and cuddlies around, and a larger boy BOUNCING and BANGING around at the bottom of the bed, wrapping himself in my fluffy blanket, screeching "But it's so COZY!" when I ask him to stop pulling all the covers out, and me, half-way through a story which, surprisingly they ARE listening to. Bouncing child often accidentally hits me, puts his elbow onto me, or knocks me in some other way which he quickly follows up with "Sorry! SORRY!!"
I artistically and quickly summarised the end of our read aloud story, and sent bouncing boy to bed, told teddy thrower to STAY in bed and I dragged myself out to the kitchen where a nice, fun, not bouncing/banging game was going on.
Feeling very sorry for myself (as tends to happen when one is stretched-to-the-limit, and became over-tired about 5 years ago) I wailed "I need a medal for reading to that child!"
Everyone quickly agreed that yes, indeed, mummy does need a medal, which was the right (and safest) thing to say, and I was very grateful, and went back to bed with the little boys (I stay there till they are asleep, intending to get up afterwards and work, but never actually managing to ...)
Anyway - next morning after breakfast and tidy-up, I walked into my office and found this on my desk.
Our 3 middle children, and my husband had made this just for ME. xxxx
Then I thanked everyone, and felt a surge of energy, enough to carry me through another day.
No matter how hard the battle, no matter how dark and long the tunnels, no matter how dismal and muddy the valleys are, I am so very, VERY grateful to be a wife and mother.
And I know where my real prize and my award lies, and I wait patiently for that day. xxxx