The Truth About Mother’s Day

Now that the fanfare’s over, let’s be honest. Mother’s Day can lightstock_82211_max_user_637824be hard for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons.

At breakfast Raine asked if I thought her birth mother was sad when she lost her. “I’m sure she was sad,” I answered. “Losing a child is very sad.”

“Do you think she cried?” was the next question. No doubt she did. She may even have been crying yesterday.

There are so many others who mourn on Mother’s Day – women who haven’t been able to have biological children. A friend in my teen years was adopted. Occasionally his mom and I would sit down for a cup of tea. I’ll never forget the day she broke down crying. She was completely devoted to her four adopted children. But there was still a sting that she hadn’t been able to give birth to them herself. Then there are women who have never obtained the title of mother in any form.

I read a post about one woman’s church asking moms to stand on Sunday. Flowers were given out in celebration of Mother’s Day. The past few years my church has given a donation to a charity caring for women in lieu of gifts on Mother’s Day. But when there were gifts, they went to all women over 18yrs. I remember the years of longing before I became a mom. I can imagine the sadness of being singled out on an already difficult day.

Then there’s the reality that, for some, there isn’t much to celebrate about their mothers. The truth is parents fail. Some in small ways, but others do so completely. Being a foster parent, I know this all too well. Not only do some parents fail to provide the love and security needed while their children grow up, they also fail to provide an example worth replicating. So, when grown, who do you turn to for advice? Who do you imitate as you raise your own kids? Besides being nothing like your parents, how do you know you’re doing a good job?

If your mom’s failed in big ways, a day celebrating her might just be too much. That’s the truth.

So if you know of someone in any of these situations, maybe next year ask them or the Lord how you can ease the pain of Mother’s Day. As glorious as it is for many, the day falls short of happy for more people than you realize. This year, for the first time, we were able to move past the pain and enjoy being a family. Praying for you if that wasn’t the case. Praying the God of all comfort will wrap you in His arms. Let Him reveal to you, the truth that you are loved.

A Lesson in Lying

Truth seems to be an unfathomable concept for foster children. Sloane* has been with me over 2yrs (now no longer a foster child but adopted). Despite my best efforts she still doesn’t get it. Partially it’s the age – she turned 5 in February – but mostly it’s something else.

I’ve started playing a “game” Truth or Lie? with all of the kids. I will make a statement, for example: “Sloane has blue eyes”, they will answer: “truth” if it’s true “lie” if it’s a lie. This has been working great with 3yr old Elise*. She’s quick to blame everything on Sloane. When I ask, “Who coloured on the wall?” her answer is “Not me! Sloane did it!” There such conviction in her eyes, I believe her. Then I say, “Truth or lie? Elise coloured on the wall.” She hangs her head and replies, “Truth.”

Our lives have been fixated on truth or lie lately. It’s come to light 17yr old Sabrina* has been lying about a lot of things for a very long time. I’ve had suspicions but no proof. When I asked her response was so sincere I believed her. Her deeds may not seem that bad – she’s had an ipod for nearly 2yrs, stole my internet password, has been texting boys at all hours (telling me she’s doing things like folding laundry in her room). When caught, Sabrina’s response was, “You won’t let me date so I had to lie.” It’s not that I’m opposed to dating. But after some shocking revelations when Sabrina first began high school, I did ban it for her until she was willing to be honest about her actions so I could mentor/guide her. Unfortunately Sabrina’s approach to dating includes a large degree of secrecy. She’s never gotten to the point where she wants to be honest. I suppose banning it made no difference. Were she allowed she’d still lie and keep it a secret.

Anyways, some things have come to light. I’ve been unraveling Sabrina’s web of lies. We’ve been playing Truth or Lie? all the live long day which makes working a rail road seem incredibly appealing (for those unaware, there’s a children’s song that goes, “I’ve been working on the rail road all the live long day”). But instead of the back breaking work of railroad building, I’m here making Sabrina cry when I tell her she’s filled our house with lies and grown a spirit of deception in our family. It’s been an intense week.

Yesterday as Sloane returns from school, she’s excitedly shouting, “Look what I found! It’s a real bird’s nest!” That’s exactly what it looks like in her precious little hands. I let out a shriek. “Get that out of her!” I scream, chasing her down the hallway. Angrily, she dumps it out the front door.

Instantly I’m sorry for overreacting. My explanation of why I don’t want her touching birds’ nests is cut short. “It’s not a real bird’s nest,” Sloane says with distain. “I made it at school. We have things to make nests with there.”

“Oh my Lord!” I exclaim in all sincerity. Honestly, how can I teach her the value of truth? At a  loss I refuse to let the manufactured birds’ nest in the house since she lied about it being a real birds’ nest. It remains a few feet from the front door.

Let that be a lesson to you, children.

Sloane's birds' nest

Sloane’s birds’ nest