Monday, May 13

Mother's Day...Again


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 when 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 and I've been reusing it ever since—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.

7 comments:

  1. Nice, Liz. You should rerun your stuff when it's as timeless and perfect as this piece is. Thanks--and yep... ;-)

    Took my MIL to the Sportsman for Mother's Day dinner and thought of you while I was there...we really need to go back this summer. You in?

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  2. Nice post, Liz. I enjoy Mother's Day, but it's a day that also makes me sad. Because, before we adopted, it was a day that left me out. I'd miscarried, so I wasn't a mother...and yet I'd been pregnant so I was a mother. As much as I love the day now, I also remember when the day was bitter. Not bittersweet, just bitter. It was a day I wanted to forget, but I couldn't. Now, it's a day to celebrate, but I still remember those darker days and I think about the women who are where I was then...

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  3. One of my best non-Mother's Day moments came when my forty-year old son called to tell me he'd just stopped mid-rant to his teenage son and thought, "My God, I sound just like my mother." LOL

    Super great post, Liz. Love it.

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  4. Like others, mother's day is bittersweet. I love my daughter so much, but my mother doesn't love me...she doesn't like me either.

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  5. Looking forward to it, Nan!

    Ah, Kristi and D'Ann, I'm so sorry for the sad parts, but am so glad you have Brandi and Bebe. I can remember when my mom's and my relationship was less than ideal--I still have unhappy thoughts of those times, and it's something I can't fix.

    LOL, Vonnie! That's hilarious!

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  6. I had a great Miother's day, but it was also sad. Never heard from youngest daughter. We're almost like strangers to each other.

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    1. I'm so sorry for that, Shawn. I hope and pray for healing.

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