Mother’s Day…it’s all about me.

A very Happy Mother’s Day to you all and if you’re reading this after the fact, I hope you had a truly wonderul day. Mine actually began when I went to the local Walmart at 1:30am to get flowers and a card for my mother in law (I still call her that, even though I’m divorced. It’s easier). I put the flowers in a vase and propped the card in front of it, on the counter near the coffee maker. That’s the first thing she does when she gets up…makes coffee. After that was done, I watched a little telly til 4am, then shut ‘er down for some much needed sleep. Well, sort of. Even left my contacts in.

I woke up around 9:30 am but couldn’t seem to drag my carcass out of bed until after 10. But I did. I got dressed and quietly left the house, got in the car and took myself to the movie theatre for an early matinee of “Dark Shadows”, one of my favorite shows as a little girl. I had told my ex the night before where I was going and also my son but said nothing when I actually left. Didn’t think it was necessary and besides, this day was all about me. Well, it’s a day for mothers everywhere but you know what I mean.

I stopped by the 7-11 for a Big Gulp and a taquito so I could have something to eat and drink while I watched the movie. I’m not paying those outrageous prices at the concession and besides, I have a large handbag so it fit perfectly and no one was the wiser.  <big grin> That was SO great, being able to sit  in a comfy chair, feet propped on the back of the seat in front of me and watch an awesome flick!! I was thoroughly entertained the whole 113 minutes of the movie’s run time. By the time it was over, the ol’ clock on the wall said it was almost 1pm so I bailed and headed to the house, changed my clothes and spent the next 3 hours mowing, pulling weeds and pruning tree limbs in the back yard, along the fence line.

So what in Sam Hill does this have to do with Mother’s Day??  It’s what I chose to do on my day. Feels like I’ve been rode hard and put up wet but I got a lot done in the back yard and more importantly, I went to see a movie that I wanted to see, all by myself because that’s what moms are supposed to do on their special day. Now I’ll admit, it would have been nice to have flowers and a card but in reality, flowers wilt and cards will yellow with time. And candy? Yeah, I’m trying to  lose weight, not find it. Pass.

Point is, the day is not about…stuff. It’s an homage to we mothers who patiently waited for our children to be born, held them close and inhaled that wonderful baby smell, comforted them when they scraped their knees or fell off their bike. It’s recognition from family, friends and peers that we’re more than what you see on the surface. We wear a multitude of hats, sometimes barely recovering from our task under one chapeau before we find ourselves donning yet another beret under this mantle of mom-ness. But Mother’s Day is also an affirmation that because of all the things we do and the sacrifices we sometimes make, we deserve a day to just be…us. We deserve a day all to ourselves to go where we want, do what we want or sit on our hiney if we so choose.

When I became a mother at age 28, I was no more prepared than if I’d been 18. Children do not come out of the hospital nursery with a manual OR a mute button. (and we sure could’ve used the mute button at key points in our children’s lives,  huh?) I was scared spitless of screwing up and making my son hate me because I had no clue what I was doing. For that matter, I didn’t have much experience changing diapers, bottle feeding or what a baby’s cries meant. But I learned and moved on to the next crisis, as you do. When our kids morph into teenagers, our patience is sorely tested and we often find ourselves white-knuckling the mine cart as it takes us careening through the mountain of teen angst, hoping and praying we stop long enough for a nugget of  gold along the way. It can be very frustrating and any mother worth her salt-and-pepper hair (underneath all that Miss Clairol) will tell you they’ve had at least one moment of un-motherly thoughts. I’ve had several moments when I wanted to slap all the brown off my son’s hair. But you refrain, regroup and find a way to remedy whatever situation has gotten you all in a tizzy. It’s part and parcel of being a mom.

When I saw that my son was beginning to shed the state of flux and maturity finally found him, all that angst, upheaval, and  arguments of the past didn’t matter anymore. When he began to understand my reasoning for decisions I made and I got the occasional arm around the shoulder with “I love you”,  that was the payoff for being a mom. When he wondered why I would spend so much money on an optometrist appointment instead of saving it for another car and I told him “If for some reason I get laid off again, I can afford $50 for contacts easier than $150 for the exam & office visit”, he said “Know what mom? You’re a pretty smart feller!” Those are the moments when you know you’ve done something right.

But motherhood is a commitment and it’s not for everyone, nor is it for the faint of heart. You have to be stubborn, compassionate, patient and ready to laugh at any given moment. You have to be willing to put yourself last for the sake of your kids sometimes. You do without so your kids don’t have to. All these facets of being a mother can seem daunting but it’s what we do. It’s who we are. And that’s why we have a day just for us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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