Once upon a time, on a Mother's Day long, long ago, my daughters gave me a rose bush.
Well. Let's be honest.
The truth is that I was wandering around the garden story with my then-three little ducklings in tow, and I wanted more rose bushes than my budget could handle.
So I picked out my most favorite, Rosa 'Mutabilis', put it in my husband's hands, and said, "Let's call this my Mother's Day gift. Buy it for me please."
We took it home, planted it in the front yard, right down near the sidewalk, where it is thrived and bloomed from that day to this.
What makes this rose special - besides its celebratory origins - is that the blossoms change color.
The buds are deep red.
The blossoms open as pale peachy yellow.
But they don't stay that way for long. Over the next few days, their hue intensifies into a medium pink and then blush to a brilliant crimson.
At any given time, scattered around the bush are flowers in all stages of this transformation. The petals, sweet and soft, are in a constant state of change, each color truly as precious and pretty as the last.
And whenever I take a few minutes to drink in this beauty, stopping for a moment during my gardening routines or passing by the bush on my daily walks with Ranger, I often think what a perfect Mother's Day gift this rose bush was.
Motherhood, too, is ever-changing. The colors shift and vary as the years go by, and we mothers of multiple children often find ourselves in different phases of parenting all at the same time, just as the flowers scattered across the bush vary in their shades.
But every single variation is special, and meant to be cherished in its own way.
And though we must do our best to enjoy every fleeting moment, we can also relax and trust that whatever comes next will be just as beautiful as all that has come before.