One of the most touching parts during this last conference was a segment where the teenage daughters of the speakers got onstage and shared what their mothers did right. There were about 5 or 6 of them, ranging from ages 13 to 18, and they all praised their mothers. (What planet are these girls from?)
From all their different talks, one thing stood out as being the overwhelming praise for the mothers. Every single daughter mentioned it at least once. It had nothing to do with the clothes or cell phones the moms provided. Each daughter saw her mother enjoying her.
The daughters recognized the regular duty of a mother, eg. cooking, taking them to school, and so forth. But these mothers didn't act like it was a chore to these things. In addition, the mothers all went out of their way to do extra things, like going on mother-daughter dates. For children, love is really spelled T-I-M-E.
In short, the daughters didn't feel like burdens. Over and over again they said that. Apparently, their mothers enjoyed motherhood, every bit of it. They liked feeding their kids, cleaning up after them, shuttling them around, doing their laundry. Okay, maybe they didn't actually like all of these, but they had a good attitude and never lost sight of the big picture. I'm sure they didn't fake it (for 18 years?), grumble when their kid asked them for something, or shoo their kid away until the to-do list was done.
It's a shame that the mothers didn't bring their sons (some were at college, others didn't want to come to an all-female shindig). But if the sons had gotten up and spoken to us, I imagine they would have said the same thing. Children need love from their parents more than anyone. And children are smart enough to tell the difference from free love willingly given and guilty love provided out of duty.
I love how the most profound things are the simplest things. The moral of this story is to enjoy our kids. Not just because it would make them better people but because they are worth enjoying.