I have just eaten what might be the least heart-friendly Mother’s Day breakfast imaginable; I could have saved time by drinking the bacon grease directly from the skillet but it wouldn’t have been nearly as delicious.

My son just gave me his Mother’s Day present: a flower arrangement he made at school with blue flowers and white pebbles in what I’m pretty sure is a urine sample cup. I think it is beautiful, and tell him so. “It’s fake.” he says several times of the flowers as I tell him how wonderful it is; he seems to have inherited his mother’s need to explain why whatever he’s created isn’t quite up to snuff.

My daughter doesn’t quite understand the day. All she knows is it’s Sunday and she was too sick to go to church and she thinks this may be what we are supposed to be celebrating: “Happy Sundays!” she keeps singing, with a radiant smile and runny nose, as she appears behind me with one of her toys, an empty sippy cup, half-eaten pancake or whatever she has decided to give me at that moment to commemorate the occasion. I love her complete lack of self-consciousness. I hope the gene that made her brother so sure that Santa will not come, despite his best efforts to be good, the same gene that makes her mother apologize for nearly every meal she makes, never makes an appearance.

I love them both so much that my heart hurts, even without the bacon grease.

My Mother’s Day gift to my own mother, per her…repeated…request, was to get a mammogram. Not one of my favorite activities, but I know that she wants these things because she loves me even if she sometimes makes me want to chew off my own face. “That’s my job,” she tells me when I complain. Indeed.

As parents, we are bound to make mistakes; it comes with the territory. I believe my best quality as a parent is that I recognize this.  I am so very far from perfect; I hope that I haven’t made too many bad decisions, and that the ones I have made are forgivable.

A dear friend of mine had to violate a custody agreement to spend this day with her own son because “It wasn’t her scheduled day.” Another has been forced to leave her own home and will probably not see her children at all this weekend due to the duplicity and malice of their father. I hope that these two men and any other parent who does things of this nature will someday see the stark recognition of their own character in the eyes of their children.

But I am turning what started out to be a funny Mother’s Day blog into a soapbox. My point, which is less pointy than smudgy is: I am so very fortunate to have all the people in my children’s lives who look out for their well being. Happy Mother’s Day to all who care for and love and nurture children, yours by birth or not. It doesn’t actually take a village – but it helps.