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Mary’s ‘yes' – fine print and all

Julie Filby

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Our Blessed Mother Mary was human. She, better than anyone, understands that motherhood is challenging and often unpredictable. A couple years ago on Mother’s Day, we had one of those days that didn’t exactly go as planned.

Avoiding the Mother’s Day brunch crowds on Sunday, my family took me out to breakfast on Saturday morning. I love going out to breakfast and envisioned myself lingering over a fluffy omelet and several cups of coffee.

After the hostess assessed our party – two adults, then 5-year-old Quinn and then 2-year-old Vaughn – she escorted us directly to the family section, also known as the back room or romper room as I like to call it.

After combing the menu to figure out what to get Quinn, who’s allergic to eggs, and bothering the waitress for three kinds of juice before Vaughn stuck with her usual apple, I settled down to relish my first sip of joe.

For some reason, there was a perfectly grown-up couple seated next to us in the romper room. Matt and I were sweating over what antics the kids might serve up, but were relieved when we overheard the woman say: “Kids seem to behave better in restaurants than they used to.”

We wondered if she still felt that way when Quinn sprayed oatmeal across the table after taking a bite he deemed too hot, or when Vaughn ate a breakfast consisting solely of strawberry jam packets. Oh well, at least she used a spoon.

The meal proceeded: pancakes were obliterated, syrup spilled, a few bites of bacon eaten and I managed to slam a couple swallows of coffee. After breakfast as I loaded Vaughn into her car seat she innocently smeared melted chocolate mints down my white sleeve.

Matt (laughing): Well, the kids wouldn’t want to you to forget you’re a mom on Mother’s Day.
Me: I guess it’s all part of the deal.
Matt: Yeah, but it’s in the fine print.

My husband Matt: always there for me with the right mix of support and humor. He brought up a good point. We all get a job description from God for our time here on earth. While some of our duties are straightforward, predictable and comfortable – some are in the fine print: the more erratic, demanding and frustrating stuff.

It’s usually the items in the fine print that develop and strengthen our faith.

Who can I identify with this more than Our Blessed Mother? The life she had expected to live was turned upside down. And though her life was filled with much joy and happiness, it had its share of trials, frustrations and pain.

While my breakfast story is just a petty example of life not going as planned, I know whatever my challenges are as a mother – from the most trivial to the most serious – I can draw on Mary’s openness to God’s presence in her life, as a model in my own life.

I’m grateful Mary said “yes” to the fine print.

Topics: Motherhood

Julie Filby, wife and mother of two (ages 8 and 5), is a reporter for the Denver Catholic Register newspaper. She also enjoys blogging at Mother’s Musings about the simple ways Christ is unmistakably present in every-day family and work life. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter. She also contributes to CatholicMom.com and Catholic Lane.

View all articles by Julie Filby

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