Monday, May 14

Mother's Day...Sort Of


Mother’s Day has come and gone for another year and I didn’t write anything about it even though writing is what I do. I think about it a lot, think about my mom—gone all these long years—and my mother-in-law, who I’ve loved almost as long as I’ve loved her son and who has loved me back. I think about being a mom and a grandma—it’s just my favorite thing. But Mother’s Day? I’m really glad my kids remember it, tell me they love me, stop by if they’re close by, but mostly I’m glad it’s not confined to one day in May.

I wrote most of this years ago—I’m the rerun queen, you know—but I hope it still says what it did then. I hope it stands up.

Graduation days have always been like Mother’s Day. They were the signal that one of the most important jobs in life-as-a-mom was nearly finished and that she had, at least to some degree, been successful at it. From my own high school graduates, the entire day of graduation was a gift to me. They would much rather have collected their diplomas on the last day of school and cut and run. They were not eager to wear caps and gowns, to see all the relatives at the open house, to stand with their dad and me and have their pictures with us grinning gleefully from either side of them.

Parents Night during the various sports season is like Mother’s Day. After all, we always get a rose; we get to stand with the kid and grin gleefully while our picture is taken, and we go back to the bleachers safe in the secret knowledge that, bar none, our kid is the best one out there. Oh, she may not make the best grades, and he may not be the best athlete, and she may cause trouble in class from time to time, but overall, he’s the best kid. You know what I mean.

Mother’s Day is when you tell the kid who thinks you’re being bossy, unreasonable, and not quite bright that you love him more than anything else on earth and he tells you he loves you, too and maybe gives you a little one-armed hug if no one’s around.

Mother’s Day is when someone tells your daughter she’s just like you and she just smiles and says, “Thank you.”

Mother’s Day is when the kids have been horrendous brats all day long. They’ve beaten up the neighbor kid who’s half their size, trashed the entire house, and flipped mashed potatoes at the kitchen wall. They’ve broken the Blu-ray player—the one you got their dad for Christmas—and spilled…oh, everything.

After they’ve gone to sleep and you’ve scrubbed the wall and cleaned the worst of the mess in the house and apologized profusely to the neighbors, you check the kids before you go to bed yourself. And they look like angels among their cartoon-character sheets. Their skin is baby’s-bottom soft and flushed with innocence and youth and they’re the best kids ever born and you are so lucky and it’s truly Mother’s Day all over again.

When they’re older and have established their own ideas and thought patterns and don’t agree with anything you say and their favorite things about you are your wallet and your car…yes, even then they will every now and then do something so perfect and so right it brings tears to your eyes. It doesn’t matter what it is—it can be standing firm for something they believe in, defending an underdog with heat and dignity, or confessing to a wrongdoing rather than let someone innocent of it suffer in their place. When it happens, it is absolutely Mother’s Day.

To all who fit the bill, Happy Mother’s Day. Whenever it may be.


9 comments:

  1. Oh, I love this, Liz! Thanks for sharing!! For us, Mother's Day (and Father's Day) is a random day in June when the storks dropped off bebe...and December 15th when her adoption was finalized.

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    1. Thanks, Kristi. Those storks sure knew what they were doing!

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  2. Well said, Liz. Mother's Day does happen at many different times, not just the second Sunday in May. I remember my kid asking me once, "Why is there no kids' day?" I replied, "Because every day is kids day." Maybe that's more true of Mother's Day than I ever thought.

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  4. Liz~
    Beautifully said. I have a wonderful daughter who often does things for me, so I don't need a special day to celebrate!

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  5. Yep. I agree. Each day has a moment of mother's day to it. Although apparently my kids were a little easier than yours because they never threw mashed potatoes at the wall or beat up the neighbor. Oh, wait, they were the neighbor. LOL Just kidding.

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    1. I don't think mine ever beat up the neighbor either (just each other) but there was a memorable mashed potato fight. Thanks for stopping by, Margie.

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  6. I love this, Liz. I get to celebrate again today. It's my son's birthday today. He did get into a fight with a neighbor's child once when he was 7. Five minutes later they were best buds again. And I am just un heaven when my daughter come over with the grandbabies!

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  7. What a lovely post. For us, Mother's Day is just like our anniversary, father's day, valentine's day -- another day to remind us to celebrate every day.

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