One of my favorite books to read to Lukas right now is "Mars Needs Moms." It's the great story about Milo, the little boy who doesn't fully appreciate all his mom does for him. She makes him eat his vegetables, and doesn't see the humor in painting his sister purple. But then one night she's snatched by martian raiders and taken to Mars, where they need moms to drive them to soccer practice and pack lunches and cook dinner and all those other essential things we do so well. It cracks Lukas up every time.
But while it makes him laugh, it usually chokes me up. Milo sneaks onto the spaceship and sees first hand why Mars so obviously needs moms. The page that gets me is when Milo falls off the spaceship and his helmet breaks and he starts to breath in the "mustard" air on Mars. He's gasping for breath and his mother comes to help him....
"And he barely sensed the gentle hands place her own helmet over his head.
Milo opened his eyes and for the first time, he saw neither a broccoli bully nor a slave-driving garden ogre. He didn't see a tyrant or a dictator or a weary driver to soccer games.
Suddenly he knew what was so special about mothers.
She looked at him, smiling, and said 'I'll love you to the ends of the universe.' "
That pretty much sums up motherhood for me. The need to enforce rules, to teach lessons, and to make sure our kids don't run around like crazy-people all day long. But also the overwhelming sense of doing absolutely anything to protect your child and make sure nothing ever, ever happens to that little life you brought into this world.
I admire my mom, my mother-in-law, and all the other moms I know for the hard work they put into raising their children.
Mostly, I just love these two little crazy kids to pieces.