You’ve probably heard the expression, “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Well, there could be some truth to that. This is a more accurate statement: “If everyone would just be happy, then Momma would be happy.”
This has nothing to do with being happy because your momma said to be … even if it kills you. It’s not an emotional happy as fleeting as the moods of a preteen girl. It’s not in reference to all the times your momma went out of her way for you.
Here’s an example of what a mom might do for her children. She goes to the trouble of making a yummy picnic meal, packing it all up, getting everyone’s bikes ready and then surprising them with an unplanned bike-ride-picnic-summer-blast-of-wonderful right before school starts back up. Yet instead of joy, she’s met with complaining children who whine the entire time. OK, that was a personal experience. The point is, it isn’t about the warm fuzzies, although spending time together does bring a mom joy.
"Mom happy" really equates to your well-being! Momma really just wants all of her chicks — both those who are still under her wing and those who have flown and reproduced their own hatchlings — to be safe, healthy and secure. We don’t really care if you’re tickled-pink with your life; we want what’s best for you. We want what you need, not necessarily what you want. Heartache for you means heartache for mom.
Long after apron strings are cut, we’re still wearing our Mom badge. We might not have the authority to send you to your room, but we will never, ever get to a graduating love that begins to decline. That just doesn’t happen.
We were wired to nurture, to gather our babies under our feathers, tucking them in for safe keeping. A mom’s typical day isn’t over until everyone is in their beds and asleep. When we look around and our nest is empty, we might find it easier to settle in for the night. But that doesn’t mean we don’t do some serious praying for our grown kids before we go to sleep.
When grandchildren are born into the family, it’s as if our heart explodes all over again … with love and concern. It's kind of like our older mom parts — there’s a great expansion taking place, only it must stretch out over everyone.
Happy Mother’s Day
So here’s to you, moms, for your attempts to distract a screaming toddler when they’re so tired they can’t see straight and won’t be comforted by the red cup when they want the yellow cup. Cheers to you for your endless tasks of running a home, soothing broken hearts, putting on a smile and speaking with a tender voice when you really want to lock yourself in the closet and cry yourself to much-needed sleep.
Happy Mother’s Day to you, because you are, many times, the most selfless human in the household.
May everyone within the bounds of your nest — those currently abiding and those who have already flown — be in a place that allows you to have at least one time in your life where the momma inside of you gets a rest and a break, and you can truly be “momma happy.”
McClain writes from Greenwood.