This time each year May rolls around and all the commercials and advertisements about Mother’s Day go into high gear. I have to admit I meet them all with a glare and heavy sigh. It’s not that I don’t think its a good “holiday,” it just seems that MY Mother’s Day always leaves something to be desired.
- Four or five of my eleven Mother’s Days were spent in the hospital. Sometimes I was actually in-patient, but usually it was my kids who were being treated.
- One Mother’s Day I didn’t get to even see my children as their father decided that it was “his” time, not mine.
- Two Mother’s Days I was so sick, I literally stayed in bed all day writhing in pain.
- A few Mother’s Days I spent on the road most of the day between my mother-in-law and mother’s homes.
Then of course there is last Mother’s Day. Last Mother’s Day my husband had to work “a few hours”…. which turned into most of the day. I had decided that I would take the kids to church and then we could all do brunch together and just relax. That was all I wanted… church, brunch, relax. This is not what happened. Last year…let’s just say after tears, (accurate) accusations of unappreciation and yelling, I spent the rest of my day in the back yard tearing up my garden, weeding and removing a rotted portion of our deck with a really big sledge hammer.
But looking back on everything… actually looking much further back, like to my own childhood, I see that really- this IS Motherhood. I don’t remember thinking carefully how I wanted to show my own mother how I appreciated her. In school we had crafts and activities leading up to Mother’s Day, but other than that I don’t think we did all that much. My father, the constant romantic *eyes rolling*, brought my mother a dozen roses for “important” occasions… like Valentines, Mother’s Day, birthdays… when he was in the dog house. I think sometimes we went to dinner, but I really can’t remember being all that appreciative of my mother. I realize now, you really have to wait until your kids are adults for them to understand all the sacrifices, pain, love, sweat, tears and more that goes into being a mother.
Sometimes it’s hard to understand that my kids don’t see all the crazy things I do for them and shower me with storms of glitter and streamers. I mean, I spent the majority of my first four years of motherhood in a hospital room. I watched my kiddo breath as the machines bleeped and bipped away. I held my daughter through numerous febrile seizures scared to death she would die in my arms. I cleaned scrapes and cuts, have worked endlessly with teachers and therapists, have made more paper mache than I ever thought I would, built (yes built) huge cakes for every theme birthday party I have thrown for them and so much more. But…. those are things that my mother did too (mostly.)
So, I don’t expend my streamers or glitter now, maybe never. But I do know that one day, my own kids will appreciate how hard I have worked as their mother, as I now see how hard my mother worked for me. I’m not sure now that I can ever truly tell my mom exactly how important she has been in my life, not only as a child, but even more as an adult. She has been a friend, a confidant, a pain in my butt when needed, encouraging, supportive and most of all, a mother.
Learning from my mother….
I grew up as child at my mother’s feet in the kitchen. I can’t imagine now having grown up in a more perfect place to glean all the magic from her cooking skills and Latin American cuisine. Now that I am an adult, I can take a twist on some of those classic items that she loved growing up in her home country of Brazil. Now, I create some of those items in a gluten-free, slightly healthier and mostly grain-free (paleo-ish) way so everyone can enjoy them. I usually even get my mom’s golden seal of approval!
Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and all the other hard working mother’s out there, you ARE appreciated.