Happy Mother’s Day to all you Moms! You make the world go around, you know that, right? The celebrations probably never go quite as smoothly as if you’d planned them yourself, but I hope you get a glimmer of how appreciated you are today even if the rest of us stumble a bit trying to express our gratitude for how generous you are with your time, energy, and love.
A friend of mine posted on FB: “I can’t believe that my teenage daughter had the nerve to say there should be a ‘Daughter’s Day.’ And she was serious!”
My own Mom inspires me to want to be a Mom. When she gave birth the first time, she was 30 years old and had been married to my Dad for a few years. I hope she’s OK with me telling you that for the first half of her pregnancy, she didn’t realize she was pregnant. She was already having irregular cycles, then thought she was putting weight on in the middle. That was me! She finally went to the doctor, and the famous line is, “Congratulations, Mrs. C., you’re four and a half months pregnant!” So, let’s just say it was an easy pregnancy. (noted!)
My Mom talks about becoming a Mom as an event that changed her life in an instant, bringing this new all-consuming love and absolute thrill and awe to meet this new little person. (PS my Dad says the same thing but we’ll give him his turn on Father’s Day :)) She describes the process of going into labor with this tone of woman’s-wisdom; she finished up lesson plans as my dad ran up and down the stairs saying, “we should go we should go weshouldgo!” Even though it was her first birth, she had a sense of calm. In the hospital, she had a bunch of student observers–she shook their hands wearing nothing but socks, and the doctor had a tee time or something so he ended up pulling me out with forceps (a sign of the times). Healthy first-born baby girl!
My Mom recalls sitting in the light yellow La-Z-Boy chair in the living room of our little house in the middle of the night, breastfeeding each of her babies, with the streetlight flowing in the window and just feeling so content with life.
Through my childhood, my Mom was the superhero the job requires–a working mother who pursued a career she loved but also arranged for a flexible schedule so that we always had a parent at home when we got home from school. We had various college student babysitters to fill in the gaps but my parents were a.r.o.u.n.d. Which tends to nip any brewing mischief in the bud. The huge bulk of the household chores–cooking, cleaning, laundry–fell to my Mom and we were generally very unhelpful and ungrateful–she took the lion’s share because she wanted us to have time to do our homework. When Mom went to a conference about once a year, all hell broke loose (no offense, Dad) and we really could not function without the sun in the center of our solar system.
I remember being a teenager and writing an angsty poem about my Mom in which I invented fictional clashes since that seemed like the thing to do. The fact is, I really always liked her. As anyone knows who has met my Mom, she is one of the most generous and caring people on the planet. She got to channel this nurturing energy into her career as a teacher working primarily with kids who were struggling with various problems like ADD, learning disabilities, problems at home, or not speaking English. She customized ways to connect with each of them. She more than meets people halfway and I got this from her. We both need to reign it in sometimes and direct more of that nurturing energy to ourselves (says the next generation version 2.0 after years of therapy!)…but, that’s how it goes: your weaknesses are your strengths turned up a little too high. And it’s a beautiful strength!!
Today, my Mom is one of my best friends. The major differences from a regular friendship are that a) she gave birth to me, b) she’s known me since then, and c) I wait about half a day longer to tell her something that might worry her. Otherwise, the open communication that she (and my Dad) fostered throughout our childhoods, which I credit with keeping us generally on a positive and productive track, continues to this day.
Now that my parents have iPhones, every call goes onto speakerphone within about 10 seconds so that I’m talking to them both. Lately, they say in singsong, “We’re enjoying your blog!!!!” They have supported me through every step of this process. From the day my Mom noticed prenatal vitamins in my apartment, her only struggle has been to contain her boundless joy. I know she is beside herself knowing that I am on the verge of experiencing the magic that changed her life–and then we’ll share it. And my kid will have a Mimi!
I love you, Mom!!
PS Sharing a photo of my Mom–just came in via text from my Dad as I finished this post. She’s got the purse my sisters and I sent for Mother’s Day. I know I’m on the edge of being not-so-anonymous but so be it! Lookin good!!!
PPS Day 28: No AF. Temp at 97.4. Hasta mañana!