It’s Mother’s Day today.
I used to find this day so difficult when I was going through infertility treatment so a shout-out to all of you who are doing that. Or know someone who is. I even stood up rebelliously in the church choir one morning when the pastor asked for all the mothers to stand up and be recognized. Bet that got some tongues wagging. I figured I had “mothered” a few people – had been a stepmother at one time, although no more. I was a therapist – that has been termed “reparenting”.
This is also a hard day if you have a bad relationship with your mom. Or no relationship with your mom. Take care of yourself today, if that’s the case. Look for some folks you have a nurturing relationship with and treasure them.
We can create our own families.
For the first time, I am not with my son on Mother’s Day, as he is in Spain. He has sent me presents that he picked out before he left, a Razorback red cooking apron and a French cheese tray, and about the sweetest note a Mom could ask for. But I will miss my annual Mom’s Day entertainment of watching my husband and son prepare dinner for me. Somewhat like an episode of Modern Family, just up close and personal. Rob cooking something “creative”, my husband cleaning, trying to remember from last year how things work in the kitchen, and being just a bit obsessive about it all. Them arguing about who is supposed to do what when.
Last weekend we cleared out Rob’s freshman dorm room and sent him off. I posted the picture on Facebook of just the dust on his floor. The pictures you see here are what was on top of the dust. I am flabbergasted how someone could pull better than a 3.5 average both semesters and live in such chaos. The towel that is hanging up is his roommate’s. I made $23.47 in change, so he has been buying my Route 44 Sonic unsweetened iced tea every morning this week. Thank you Rob.
We only fussed a couple of times. I was controlling in the early morning and had to apologize. My husband got irritable toward the end of the day. Rob just didn’t want to get out of bed and then was distracted by saying good-bye to everyone. Understandable. AND when he goes back next year, I am putting a limit on the number of damn shirts he can take. I know full well he did not wear all those shirts. There must have been fifty of them. He can take a blue one, a white one and a yellow one. That’s it. Mom has spoken.
My mother didn’t make a big deal out of Mother’s Day, as I recall. I got her presents for many years, but eventually just a phone call or flowers worked for her. We may have had lunch sometimes with my grandmothers when we were children – probably did. I just don’t remember.
Mother’s birthday was in late May and she was probably already dreading that. Although beautiful, she hated celebrating her birthday, any notice that she was growing older. She has been gone now five and half years, she and my father. And although she suffered from tremendous anxiety in her final years, there would be the occasional phone call when I would catch a glimpse of how she used to be, when she could be extremely interested in whatever was going on in my life.
My mother and I had a complicated relationship. There were many wonderful things about it that I now smile about. She was extremely spiritual, and spent many hours on her knees praying for my poor soul, or so she told me. She was always impeccably dressed and taught me to keep to my own style and not sway to trendy fashion too much. Guess those white GoGo boots she bought me in fifth grade were just a bit of whimsy on her part!
She played the piano and organ majestically and I adored sitting and hearing her play by ear the tunes of the fifties and sixties when you could entice her to do so. In her more sarcastic self, she might laughingly say under her breath, “If you don’t have something nice to say, sit by me”, especially if she was going to some boring meeting. But she gave of herself to her children and her husband intensely and lovingly and filled our home with dignity and beauty.
That’s what I am reminded of in this moment that I will miss today. I will miss that person who was eager to hear, to understand, to give support. And I got the chance to thank her for it. To say or write once again, even on a Hallmark Day, “I love you devotedly”, a favorite phrase of my Mother’s actually.
So Happy Mother’s Day to all! I am having a Mother’s Day Out. Not celebrating per se. Treasuring my memories of both being mothered and mothering.
Hug your Mom if available, hug a nurturing friend if not. Hug yourself in a pinch. Sometimes we have to mother ourselves.
I will forever be thankful I got to be a Mom, and am still a Mom. Forever a Mom.
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