It's my kids insisting that I need to sleep in on mother's day, but being so excited that they wake me up at dawn, covering the bed in cards and love and, oddly, sandals.
It's going out to breakfast and beating the crowd, thanks to their early morning exuberance.
It's coming home and having a quiet moment to sit and miss and love my missing mom.
It's blowing bubbles on a sunny Sunday, and seeing my babies' eyes light up at the big green ball I toss them, an unexpected gift.
It's in the way I feel lighter when my gift to them becomes a gift to me, as they invent a game that fools me into moving my body through space, running after balls and kids and splashing through streams; the very actions that heal the soul but feel too heavy to fathom out of context.
It's in the way I should take a nap, but the littlest commandeered her father's energy and now they snooze together on the couch, topped with a lazy loving cat.
This Mother's Day wouldn't be a celebration of motherhood without the little moments, like scooping a dead spider from the bath water and finding the missing hippo towel. These moments seem mundane; the compromises sometimes cruel, but there is depth to these moments that I can feel so fully now that my own mom is gone. They won't remember each caterpillar we rescue, or every sacrifice I make; but these moments sculpt their futures and help them to identify with hard work and joy, and I can ask for no more than to prepare my children for fulfilling lives of their own.
And perhaps, when I am gone, they will feel that, while they don't quite know why, the tiny moments of joy in the day to day remind them of home, and they will be encouraged to recognize those moments, and live there even when times are rough. And maybe, if I'm lucky, a moment or two of nothing in particular will remind them of their long gone mother, who loved them so very much.