It's amazing how very different I feel and have felt about Mother's Day at various points in my life.
When I was little, it was a time for making cards, and picking flowers, and generally being as artsy as possible. Pulling out all the glittery, glamoury stops to tell my mom and grandmothers how much I love them.
When I got pregnant, I was THRILLED at the thought of just getting to BE a mom on Mother's Day. The idea of breakfast in bed, or being treated like a queen for a day held such appeal.
Now, with older children, I am in yet another completely different place on Mother's Day. I feel like I have the best of both worlds. I have the perspective of some time with motherhood, and a true appreciation for what it takes to be a good mom, and the joy and fulfillment that can bring. And almost as importantly, how incredibly grateful I am to have such wonderful women in my life, to show me how to go about being a good mom.
This is a picture of me and my family up on a mountain ( I think in VT) where we used to go blueberry picking every year. I labeled all the people so you can tell who's who. Credit where credit is due...I'm pretty sure it was my Uncle Phil taking the picture.
As an Ode to Motherhood, I'd like to offer the following.
My Mom - sacrificed a lot for me...in so many ways, at so many points. She gave me an incredible work ethic, but now, more importantly, I realize what that REALLY means. It means that I can be truly independent, self-sufficient, and not have to muddy the waters of my relationships by relying on other people financially. I am free to enjoy people for who they are, and what we mean to each other, without baggage. She taught me to stick up for myself. Without question. And if that means dazzling people with $10 words all strung together, then so be it. Plus...all that other good mom stuff, like good manners, giving to other people, even when you have just enough for yourself, and how to make a mean super-neat bed.
My Nonni - told me time and time again, "you can do anything if you put your mind to it". She taught me to drive. She bought me those ridiculously expensive Jordache jeans. She taught me that chocolate chip cookies and hugs can pretty much comfort any woe. She taught me a love of hand made things. I had hand made sweaters galore, many that I still have and wear now. She taught me super cool phrases like "I'm busier than a one-armed paper hanger" and "pain in a bucket!". I think I get my love of clutter and chocolate from her. Which makes her that much cooler.
My Aunt Pat - inspired me to reach for lofty goals. She became a doctor when she had school aged kids I
(I know! right??). She was my mom-away-from-mom for countless summer vacations, and holidays. She taught me an appreciation for how wonderful a family meal can be ("What, you don't like my cooking??") I'm sure that my sense of humor somehow came from her. We love the same kinds of movies (The Princess Bride). She is just generally happy, and always insanely busy. But smiling. And loving and living life to the fullest every moment. On another note...Aunt Pat is a seriously amazing seamstress and quilter. She is in great part responsible for my wacky love of fabric, and sewing. It's her hand me down machine that I got started with I got back into sewing.
My cousin Amy - we've had a lifetime of memories. She has taught me what true friendship is. She has been there for me when I felt most alone. Best of all, she can keep a secret. Any secret. It's like having a sister, without actually having one. She has parented gracefully through things I cannot even imagine LIVING through, let alone parenting through. My admiration of her is profound. She taught me that sharing someone else's dessert is actually better than getting your own. She taught me that sometimes, if you can manage to make the best of a bad situation, go right ahead and do it. Even if other people might not agree with you. She just plain rocks.
Part of this is awkward, there have been SO many other wonderful women in my life. I wish I had photos of them all, and time to tell you my life story. But these four, they are the team I would want going into a fire. And they are the team I would want celebrating my life's finest moment with.
So go hug your mom. And tell her you love her.