Friday, May 7, 2010

On Mother's Day

Sometimes, I feel like a special holiday for Moms is a lot of pressure. I mean, it goes against everything Mothering is about, really. Oh sure, it's great to get to sleep in or to get gifts, but lying around being lazy is not really a normal "Mom" thing to do. Of course, me being me, I also get stressed about the gifts and making sure my expression is just right-cause my girls will call me on it! As I've said, I'd totally forgo gifts for a cleaning service for the day, cause let's face it-that's on my mind as I lie in bed sipping coffee. I know that I'm "supposed" to be relaxing, but I've got grocery lists and cleaning lists on my mind. Those tasks don't get put on hold to celebrate "me." That also makes me feel a bit guilty. My family are running around doing all of this wonderful stuff, just for little 'ol me, and here I am lazing around in bed. See? It's the anti-mother Mother's day.

One thing I DO love about Mother's Day? That's an easy one. I love my girls, and I love being a mom to two girls. I've been asked time and again if we didn't want to "try" for a boy. I've done enough daycare work to know that for me, umm, no. I'm good with the blessings in my life and the way it is supposed to be for our family. There have been little daycare boys that I absolutely loved-sweet, gentle, long lashed boys. There is my crazy, mischievous nephew. But I'm a Mom to girls. Yep, that works best for me.

I was looking nostalgically at old photos last night, kind of a retrospect of my family from my wedding on up to present day. I got a little teary eyed looking at pictures of my girls as babies and growing up together as sisters. While I may question every little thing, every day in my life, there's one thing I know without a shadow of a doubt. I'm a great Mother. That sounds like tooting my own horn. Well, toot toot. I'm by no means perfect. I yell a little too much. I have high expectations. I can be critical and dismissive. I can also assert, though, that my daughters know, without pause, that they are wholly and totally loved. They are strong, confident girls. I would think that they are also sure in the knowledge that every decision I make for myself is based on the greater good for them. There's a famous quote by Jackie Kennedy that goes, "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do matters very much." I totally concur. So while I often seek what "else" is out there for me, I remain constant in my striving to not bungle up this Mommy gig thing.

I'm sure, like me, there are going to be things my daughters wish I had done differently. I know there will be things that they themselves will do in the raising of their own children that will veer 360 degrees from my own teachings. I know as the teen years approach there will be scoffing and sneering. I feel a chasm will occur for a period as they seek their own way and identity. I'm okay with it.

At the base of it all, and at the core of what Mother's Day is about for me, is the rare and unique bond that holds Mother and child together. Until you've experienced it, you just can't fathom that stronghold on your heart. It's a truly unconditional and all consuming love, tempered with passion and restraint all at once. It's a tightrope act that you gladly walk without a net. It's looking into faces you created and seeing ancestors of the past and future generations to come. It's your heart bursting with pride at each achievement, and shattering with each tear. It's knowing that, should the horrendous occasion occur, you'd lay down your life without a second thought so that theirs would be spared. It's cooing at babies and fiercely buoying preteen esteem. It's guiding with a gentle hand, and releasing that hand to let them test the waters on their own. It's hoping you've raised them to go out into the world strong and capable, and praying they always come back to your shelter for comfort and rest and strength.

As I lie in bed on Sunday morning, it'll be a bit bittersweet. I'll be thinking of what I need to be doing, what I wish the day would bring and the balancing of Mommy guilt with joy. I'll be reflecting on my Mom and the gifts she gave me and continues to give. Mostly though, I'll be looking into the two beautiful faces that bring so many emotions to my life, and make each day palatable and important and contented.

Happy Mother's Day to you, and yours.

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