It seems like most mothers just want a break from being a mother on Mother’s Day. I don’t think I’m the only one to feel that a perfect mother’s day would be doing exactly what I want, which would include a great deal of time being ALONE.
It’s not that we don’t like being mothers — we do! But being alone is a commodity so rare and precious, that given an opportunity, mothers will choose it every time.
Tell me, mothers out there, do you ever go into the bathroom and lock the door and even though you’ve been done with your business for some time, you find yourself lingering in there, trying to gather your thoughts, trying to focus on something for a single minute without interruption … and then there’s a rustle outside the door and something is slipped under it or there’s a banging with a hollered request or two of them stand outside the door arguing about who gets to talk to mom first or you hear the garbage truck outside and realize you forgot to take it out?
I bet I nailed it the way it is.
And if it’s not the kids, it’s the phone call from the friend or family, or the texted request from the hubby, or the papers you need to gather for the bank or the bill to be paid or the car to fix.
Mothers. We hold a myriad of details in our hands and long for a free moment for an idea to blossom. We drown in constant requests and tasks and completely essential, thankless duties that only are noticed when we’re not there to do them.
We approach, in importance, the air they breath; the meals, the laundry, the getting them where they need to go, the help in homework, the nursing, the napping, the bathing, the dressing, the kissing, the loving, the praying, the reading, the teaching, the cleaning, the advice, the petting, the hair fixing, the shopping, the snack-bringing, birthdays, Christmases … all going on about them without notice or little thanks but all the while, helping to form them, creating the foundation on which their world is built.
They have no idea.
Nor will they … until … they’ve gotten up in the middle of the night for the fifth time for their little baby and find themselves in the morning on the rocking chair with a crick in their necks from rocking all night. At that moment, it might dawn on them that maybe … maybe … they ought give their mom a ring and say thank you. But it will pass and they’ll forget it for awhile.
But a few days later, when their backs hurt from crawling around and picking up and chasing and keeping their busy crawler from breaking his neck and while they’re changing a horrific diaper, it might occur to them the many, many, many times their mother wiped their butts. They’ll laugh to themselves and think they should call and say thanks but just then their baby will whack his head on the door jam and all that will be forgotten.
Or, they’ll lose their child in a park or a store and the panic will almost cause their hearts to burst and when they finally see them they don’t know whether they want to spank them or hug them or shake them or smother them in tears or yell or cry with happiness and on the way home in the car they’ll remember a time when their mom thought they were lost and they’ll think to call … but they forgot their hands-free and then they need to unload the groceries and the kid fell asleep in his car seat.
The realization starts to set in when all of sudden she’s beginning to blossom and look like a woman and you don’t know where the time went and you’re scared to death about the choices that will assail her and will she make the right decisions? Can she handle it on her own? And she’ll make a few bad choices and you’ll spend the night waiting and waiting and praying and praying and wondering and fretting about what you did wrong and how you can right it and what will come of it and will it be a bad choice of no consequence or one that will change her life forever and forever?
Somewhere about then you’ll realize that a call is due and you’ll make it and thank her and tell her all about your troubles and she’ll listen and assure you and end up doing all of the giving even though you called to give to her and tell her that you appreciate her.
That’s just what mothers do. That’s just who we are.
I guess our lifetime labors for our own children is the best kind of tribute to our mothers. If we labor in child-raising, we honor them.
But I bet they like a call or card just the same.
Don’t forget. It’s never too late. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!
But, especially, happy mother’s day to my own mom who covered me in kisses and made me feel like the best girl in the world! And thank you, thank you, Grandma Emma and Grandma Dottie for forming the foundation on which my parents were raised — helping them to be who they are. You gave me loving, gentle parents who gave me so much!