How many times have we done this over the course of my life? How many times did I stand on the kitchen table in a gingham dress while she measured and pinned that final hem as I slowly twirled on my sticky, bare feet? How many times did we stand before the mirror in her bedroom as she pinned and tucked and gathered and pressed my prom dress? My wedding gown?
How many times did my mother kneel for me?
My mother has spent hours on her knees. Tending and washing, mending and playing. She knelt when my sister and I invited her to play Barbies with us. She scooped that Barbie up, dressed her magnificently, and made her walk just like a real person and we were in awe.
She knelt when the three of us had the flu, when we had chicken pox, when we had lice. She knelt with us as we leaned weakly over the "sick bucket" and she knelt as she scrubbed our hair and bandaged our knees and gave our Cabbage Patch dolls eyebrow-penciled "chicken pox" on their own chubby faces so we could be matching.
She knelt when we asked her to trace our bodies on the sidewalk with chalk and when we played hopscotch in the dirt while camping.
But her knees never seemed to get tired. Never worn.
I suppose God gives mothers something magical in their knees. Something that allows them to bend and tend without breaking because that's where He needs them to be.
He needs them to be on their knees. And as mothers continue to grow and tend and learn and seek, they realize that that's right where they need to be. Where they want to be.
And so mothers kneel. Sometimes with a desperate, heavy weight because there's nowhere else to go, sometimes of their own accord because they just know. Sometimes in grief and sorrow, sometimes in humble worship and adoration.
I turned in front of the mirror and nodded. Yes. The hem was just right. Just where it needed to be.
We packed up the kids after a day filled with Mother's Day adventures and said goodbye. And I knew that my week, too, would be filled with opportunities to be on my knees, just like my mom.