No one appreciates mothers enough. In this life, that's a given. The only one who comes closest to a real appreciation is a woman who has become a mother herself, and even she probably doesn't fully appreciate the woman a generation above her.
Where did I come to this conclusion? Sitting in a church pew as the priest extolled the virtues of "Keeping Holy the Sabbath." In the sermon he specifically forbade the parishioners from mowing the lawn, fixing up the house, or doing paperwork on Sundays. He said (and I quote), "Sundays should be a day of rest in which the whole family gathers around the table for Sunday dinner."
Now, during my pre-motherhood days, this sounded like a great idea. You go to church, come home, watch some football on television, then go in and gather around the table for a full Sunday dinner, bow your heads, and have yourself "a day of rest." Notice I said "during my pre-motherhood days."
Throughout my motherhood days, however (which for those of you who don't know that means roughly from the day you give birth until the child buries you), a more accurate picture of "Sunday dinner" is thus:
You've managed to get the kids bathed, dressed, and in the car with only a shoe missing and one coat on upside down. You get to church and sincerely ask the Almighty to just get you through the parking lot and to a pew before your knees or shoulder gives out from the strain of dragging in the full diaper bag, two sippy cups, an extra blanket and the 20-pound toddler who's squirming to get out of your arms. You make it through the service with the toddler C-THUNKING on the pew ahead of you enough times to be stared at twice by your fellow parishioners only to make it back home in time for your husband to turn on the game and your kids to started yelling about who did what to whom.
In the midst of minor chaos, you whip something out of the refrigerator, wondering how long it's been in there and if anybody will notice it's been microwaved once it gets to the table. With the toddler clinging to your knees, you manage to put together a somewhat respectable meal-even if it does include chicken nuggets and French fries.
Wishing you had earplugs to drown out the crying of the toddler and the yelling of the others, you get the plates on the table and call everyone to the table for "Sunday dinner." As you referee the current dispute about if one child said they didn't like peas or not the last time, you do manage to get in a few bites before someone thinks of something you forgot? A serving spoon, salt, a fork, water?
A blink and the meal is over. If you're lucky, you will get a "Thanks, Honey" from your husband just before he goes back to the chair for an afternoon nap. Then, I invite you, as you look around at the table strewn with dishes and pans, glasses and silverware, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and say a genuine prayer of thanksgiving for your mother.
I think that may be why God put the "Honoring Your Father and Mother" Commandment just after the "Keep Holy the Sabbath Day" one-because He already knew about Sunday dinner.
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