I can’t imagine a more apropos way to spend time this weekend than watching my oldest child fulfill a wish he has had for a while. He got to fish in his very first fishing tournament with his Papa. He’s been fishing for just about as long as he’s been walking, and is finally old enough to enter children’s tournaments.
I was so anxious and excited while waiting for him and his Papa to return to the dock for the weigh-in. As I saw their boat pull up, I quickly made my way to them with my camera ready. I was trying to gauge the expression on my dad’s face to see if the caught anything. My son is quite lucky that his Papa happens to be a retired professional fisherman who is extremely well-known in our area. My son is also quite fortunate that his Papa lives on the lake, and absolutely loves fishing with his grandson.
I also remember my son’s birth mother asking if we would teach him to fish. She didn’t know that my dad is an expert on the lake, but I assured her that our son would learn how to fish. As they docked the boat, I learned that my son only caught one fish – a nice sized Crappie. Even though it would not win him any money or a trophy, the smile on his face from catching a fish in a tournament and the experience of the day is far more valuable.
Since it was a kid’s fishing tournament, they let the children weigh any type of fish in. Here is my son telling the emcee of the tournament what he caught the Crappie on. (In case you are wondering, he caught it with a spoon. For those of you who do not fish, a spoon is a lure, not something you eat with!) He also told the emcee about his Papa. The emcee and organizers of the tournament happen to know who his Papa is, but my son told them anyway.
The only prize he won was a give-away of cleaning supplies, and three small bags of baits. He thought that was pretty awesome. My daughter, and the baby also seemed to enjoy watching their older brother take part in the adventure of the day. I even let my daughter dip her toes in the cold lake!
You might wonder what this has to do with Mother’s Day. Well, as I am still trying to figure out this complex thing called parenting, I learn day-by-day that every day is Mother’s Day. Every moment is one more moment of seeing life through the eyes of my children. Each joy they get from the simplest things lights my heart up just a bit. Each accomplishment, each wish come true, and even each disappointment reinforces to me that it is so important to allow my children to learn through life experiences.
There is not one day as a mother that is no less or no important than the next. Each day is an opportunity to appreciate my children and the gifts that they are. Each day grants me the wisdom to learn from the mistakes I have made. I also believe each day allows a window into how my mother felt raising me.
Yes, I believe every day is Mother’s Day.
It would be completely remiss of me this Mother’s Day weekend to not mention the fact that my children were adopted out of foster care. Most readers of this blog know this, but it’s a fact that shouldn’t be forgotten. I know the circumstances of their birth parents, and it doesn’t fall too far from my thoughts about the kind of lives they potentially would’ve had if not protected by a child welfare system.
In honor of my children, I encourage all of you to consider what you can do to help a foster child in the community you live in. You can make a difference. The simplest acts of kindness do not go forgotten. Be bold, be kind, and be a hero to a child in foster care!