Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Well, I did it. I have finally overcome my writer's block just in time to share my thoughts's, and mom's special day. After a certain sister in law blasted me publicly, (well, on Facebook--but still--that's pretty public) about not being a good mother, I've been deep in thought about the significance of being a mom. I decided to look at that comment. I felt it didn't apply and let it go. Maybe it's because it's Mother's Day--the holy grail of days when it comes to being nice to mom--but I feel pretty confident that the techniques I use are good. It appears to me that they have been effective in creating 3 healthy, imaginative, lively children with relatively well developed emotional vocabularies and a pretty strong sense of who they are, and what they want out of life. After my fantastic Mother's Day dinner, right before bed I asked Ava Grace if she wanted to get rid of an old stuffy I saw laying on the floor. She said "No, when I grow up and live here and have a daughter I will give it to her. Then you can tell her about buying it for me at Disneyland." I said "Ok".
I wanted to spend my Mother's Day at home with just my kids and their dad. Our festivities included a delicious bar-b-que and 3 lovely handmade cards. While I sat in the sun drinking a glass of wine enjoying my wonderful husband, my oldest son built a lean-to in the backyard with a mattress on top for resting...and pondering deep thoughts. He was very proud of his accomplishment and marveled, as did we all, at his ability to make such an elaborate design with parts harvested only from an old porch swing. He was proud of himself and I was proud of him. I was also proud of myself for teaching that child how to take pride in his achievements and feel good about something he had made. That same child pitched an awful first inning at his game on Friday and though heartbroken and tearful he stuck it out until they called the "mercy rule" and ended the inning because he had walked in 6 runs. I was proud of him then too. In fact I was overjoyed at his ability to walk off the field like a man and collect himself. He allowed himself a brief moment to put his head in my chest and let a few tears go, then he stood up, put on his batting helmet and picked up a bat. He was over it. He had throw his first "loser" inning, his team was 6 runs in the hole and his ego had taken a serious blow but he gave himself a moment to feel the pain, then he moved on. Later in that same game he went on to pull three outs in a row, almost single handedly, in the last inning and secure a victory for his team. I was so proud of him. I was proud of his team too. Proud that they could love him just the same as they always do and congratulate him on a job well done on first base, putting behind them the first inning tragedy that had only an hour earlier befallen the whole team and cost them 6 runs. I was sure their mom's were proud too.
All of my children are good and special as I am sure each mother believes about her children. My mom used to say "Every crow thinks her babies are the blackest." I agree. I think that someone accusing me of being anything other than a fantastic mother, especially when they don't really know me says more about them and less about me. I have learned how to let people be whoever they are regardless of how stupid they are AND still be the person I am, (sometimes equally as stupid I'm sure). I try hard not to judge people because my honest belief is that people do the best they can with the resources they have. I believe it was Maya Angelou who said "When we know better we do better".
My mother is always trying to do better. I think she is a fantastic mother, sure she is not perfect. In fact just the other day I accused her of being a hypochondriac and you know what she did? She got sick. I mean come on. Really Mom? When she thinks she can help, she does. She always tries to anticipate the needs of others. She does what she thinks is best for people and sometimes it's wrong but she tries hard and she comes from a place of love. She is genuine. She has done well raising 3 wonderful children of her own and just like everybody in the whole world--we have issues and we are not perfect. My brother and sister and I are smart loving social people who like to be with people and have a good time. We are very different. We all have different interests but we are good people. We work on improving ourselves and strive to become better--better parents, better sons and daughters and better friends. How many people can say they look at themselves honestly and try to change the things they don't like? I have done many, MANY things I am not proud of and would not do again. However, I had to do them once to know that I didn't want to do them again. One of those things was religion. If I didn't at least give it a try how would I have know it was not right for me? And you know who was there loving and supporting me and NOT judging me? My mom (there were a few other's but the only get an honorable mention cause it's not Father's Day or Husband's's Mother's Day).
I am grown now, I don't live with my mom any more and our relationship has changed significantly, but--somethings will never change. Last time she was here visiting I told her "Just when you thought you were out of hot water...I reproduced. I can't torment you in the same way I did when I was a kid so I did the next best thing...I made more kids." She laughed, just like she always does when I tease her. She's a good woman. I'm a good woman. I am confidant my daughter will grown up to become a good woman and someday she will have a daughter of her own and she will teach her how to become a good woman. I want to teach Ava how to really love someone. How to accept and support them through all the seasons of their life.
Someone once asked me what I wanted my legacy to be. I was speechless. It's hard to fathom anything beyond this life when you don't believe in anything BUT this life. I couldn't answer him...but I can now. I want my legacy to be that I was a good woman--that I was strong and loyal. That I was brave and smart and funny. That when I loved someone...they knew it. And, that I was a mother, and a damn good one. And mothers never stop loving us and helping us. And even after I am dead and gone I will still be helping, still working, still contributing to making the world a more beautiful place for my children...only now it is because I am in the ground helping the flowers grow.

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