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Posts Tagged ‘mother’s day’

It’s Mother’s Day – a day when we give and receive flowers and chocolate as a way of saying thanks for something that is impossible to properly say thanks for. Where to begin when thanking and appreciating your mother? Thanks for enduring all the discomforts of pregnancy, and sorry I kept kicking you in the bladder? Also, sorry I didn’t come out on time and you had to be pregnant for way too long. Oh, and thanks for giving birth. You did a bang-up job and I appreciate all that effort. And all those nights when I cried?Sorry about that.

Is it possible to begin there and still manage to properly thank a woman who still cares for me and helps me all the time and has for 35 years? Of course not. The only way to properly appreciate a mother is to become a mother yourself. Even then, it’s impossible really. Now I get the pregnancy, birth, late nights etc, but I still can’t properly appreciate her for the teen years, the 20’s, and as a grandmother. Trust me, my mom needs A LOT of appreciation for those teen years. Sorry about all that, Mom.

A couple of months ago my mother watched my two kids for 5 days, after gifting T and I enough airline miles to get us to Puerto Rico for a vacation. How freaking amazing is that? I can’t imagine surviving motherhood without her help. She has 5 grandchildren and has a real relationship with each one. Each child knows and loves Grandma, trusts Grandma completely as a caregiver. Lucky Grandma is close enough to these kids that she sees the real (read: bad) them that is usually reserved just for parents. How do you thank someone for that? For loving your kids?

The answer is you don’t. Such is the nature of motherhood. There is no possible way to thank, appreciate or repay my mother. So, all I can say is: Thanks, Mom. I know you spent so much time caring for and worrying about me. I kept you on your toes and certainly didn’t do anything to make your job at all easy. But I turned out OK. Thanks to you. Your unwavering love and support gave me the chance to go out and explore, because I knew I could (and would) always come back in the end. Now I have my own little hard-headed child and I can begin to see just how annoying challenging I was. Hopefully he’ll keep his authority-defiance to a minimum and I won’t have to suffer all the calls from principals and camp directors that you did.

You’re so freaking good at this mom-thing that you make the rest of us look bad. Happy Mother’s Day!

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When I was about 5 years old I went with my parents to pick out a new Irish Setter puppy. My memories of this day are little fuzzy, but I clearly remember my first encounter with the puppies. It seemed to me that there were hundreds of them and all of them were jumping up on me in frenetic, hyper, excited greetings. It was entirely overwhelming and hilarious. They were so cute and there were so many of them and they were so hyper!

That scene comes to mind whenever my family gets together. Between my sister and I, there are five kids: twin 5-year-old girls (Nieces 1&2), a 3-year-old boy (L), a 19-month-old boy (Nephew), and an 8-month-old girl (S). The five of them together under one roof is just like those wagging puppies. It is noisy, overwhelming, messy, wiggly, jumpy and cute. And I am struck with this terrifying thought: all of these children could belong to one family. The spacing is such that one woman could have borne them all. I’m happy I’m not that woman. If you are that woman, may your wine cellar be forever stocked.

Back to Mother’s Day. My family is celebrating today at my parent’s place. Nana and T stayed home and are putting up sheet rock on my basement walls (did I mention that Nana is like a pioneer woman?). At this moment the kids are all in the kitchen wreaking some kind of havoc. The men, (my brother, brother-in-law and father,) are all crowded around my brother-in-law’s new iPad, entirely ignoring the kids. My sister is doing her best to ignore them too, and I’m hiding out in here on the computer. Leaving my mom to fend for her brood of grandchildren. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

We should all be catering to her, but we’re not. We can’t help ourselves. She’s our mom. If she’s in the room, my responsibility as chief-woman-in-charge is immediately relieved, same for my sister. With her in the room we know that our kids will be looked after, entertained, spoiled a bit and safe. I can briefly remove my mom-hat, the one that makes my brain constantly swirl with the current and impending needs of those around me. I can lose track of who peed when. It’s like a tiny vacation. (My before kids self is stunned that my after kids self thinks being in the next room from 5 very loud kids for a few minutes is a vacation.)

So, I need to remember this moment when I’m feeling unappreciated and unthanked; when L doesn’t realize that everything I do is for his benefit; when he calls me a bad mom just because he needs to wear shoes to go to the fair; when it is just taken for granted that I will have a plan, that I’ll have a snack in my bag, that I will know what to do, that I will have a band-aid, that I’ll know when small people need to pee, sleep and eat, that in my car there will be a change of clothes, drinks, food, a ball and a kite. I need to remember that as soon as my mom walks into the picture, I take for granted that she will hold all those responsibilities. The job of motherhood doesn’t end when our children are grown, or even when they have kids of their own. Once you start toting around snacks in your bag, you never stop.

Can you ever thank your mom enough? I’ve only been a mom for 3 years and already I know my kids can’t thank me enough. My mom’s been at it for nearly 40 years. And she’s damn good at it. Mom, I really do appreciate you, even if I’m too thoughtless to always show it. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

OK, I’ll come out of the relative peace of the computer room now and join in the chaos. Happy Mother’s Day!!

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