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I celebrated Mother’s Day by doing the usual mom things –

preparing meals and cleaning up,

driving my kids around,

negotiating screen time.

But on Sunday, something felt different.

I felt myself appreciating being able to do those things

and they felt less like chores.

I took a little extra time to prepare breakfast because I could,

and because I know how much they love it

when I arrange the strawberries in a semi-circle like a smile.

I laughed at myself as I screamed at my son

(who is in the early stages of learning to drive)

to “stop. Stop! STOP!!!!”

I told him it’s my survival instinct.

I sat on the shallow edge of the pool, supervising their swimming (too cold for me),

smiling at the realization that my daughter is now diving into the deep end

without me by her side, and squealing with delight

when she swam over to splash me.

She often asks who I love more: her or her brother.

Deep down I think we both know I’m lying

when I tell her I love them both the same.

How could I love them both the same when they are so different?

When the feeling and expression of my love is unique to each of them?

That night we sat on my bed and shared our favorite parts of the day.

I noticed the ways their expressions reflected who they are at their core

and felt a new answer to my daughter’s question brewing.

An answer that felt real.

An answer that was not ‘either…or’

but ‘both…and.’

I turned to my daughter and said,

“I love you more than I could ever love anyone else in the way that I love you…”

She smiled and jumped up and down and said, “I knew it!”

“….and…,” I continued as I turned to her teenage brother,

“…I love you more than I could love anyone else in the way that I love you.”

My girl giggled as she tried to cover my mouth with her hand,

saying “no, no, no.” My boy rolled his eyes at his little sister.

And then we all laughed together –

at her being her,

at him being him,

at me being me.

If you are in Austin, join me this Sunday, May 20 for a casual backyard concert…

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