The essence of mom is in a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup™. I didn’t know it then. But now that I’m a mom myself…I know. Things were tight, growing up. Budgets. Schedules. Expectations for a pastor’s wife. So I don’t recall seeing my mom really relax much. There were games of Memory or Gin Rummy. Or perhaps an old movie on our black and white tv. But one of my favorite memories, looking back, is that of Mom sitting down, actually sitting down, to enjoy a Reese’s.
To my knowledge, she didn’t have them often. So she seemed to make the most of each one, saving them for quiet moments when the day’s tasks were finally done. Eating them slowly, to truly savor every bite. But here’s the curious part: she didn’t like the edges.
Or at least that’s what I thought, because she would eat most of the chocolatey-peanut buttery deliciousness. But if one of us kids happened to be sitting nearby, she would invariably offer us the last bite, saying something about it just being the edge, anyway. Never did I reject such a delightful offer. And never did it cross my mind that she might actually like to finish the special treat all by herself.
Never, that is, until about a year ago when I flat-out asked her why she didn’t like the edges of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. For a moment she seemed confused. But as I began reminding her of the strange ritual, she gave me a look. That look. The half-amused, half-bewildered, “are you really so naïve?” look. And suddenly I knew. The mom in me knew.
It was yet another selfless sacrifice Mom had made for my siblings and me. No, she didn’t dislike the edges of peanut butter cups. Yes, she would gladly have finished the last bite if she were all by herself. But for her, the pleasure of eating that last bite somehow paled in comparison to the glimmer in her child’s eyes as she offered up the priceless treasure.
That is the essence of Mom. Not just the obvious connections to her many layers of sweetness, and the joy she brings to others. But the giving of what was rightfully hers, what she could have kept all to herself, in order to share that joy with her children. That’s what “Mom” means to me. That’s what my Mom means to me.
And isn’t that just the way our Heavenly Father is with us? He enjoyed the constant companionship of His only begotten Son in Heaven. A relationship He had every right to keep and enjoy for Himself. And yet, because of His amazing love for us He selflessly offered His most precious treasure, His one and only Son, as a gift for us so that we might enjoy a relationship with Him, too.
And life with Jesus is even better than the last bite of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
©Lisa DeVinney, for Mom (Jan Kesinger) on Mother’s Day, May 10, 2015.