Sunday, May 12, 2013

On Mothers

Oh Mother's Day.  You do sneak up.

Here is the thing about Mother's Day: we all start out with Mothers.  And those mothers all start out loving us  and caring for us and doing their best.  Later, we sometimes accuse them of loving us too much, but that is a whole other blog post!

I have a personal theory about most mothers, which is true only for me and my mother and for me and my children, but may reflect your lives as well:  Mothers are about the details.  They give birth  and then they can't ever let go the knowing of every detail that happens after that.  It is all fascinating to them and they can't seem to help being nosy.  They are typically (still) the ones who know every doctor's appointment, when you had your last period, what you ate for breakfast that time.  They plan it all; as my brother and sister and I used to say, our mother gave good Christmas.  And we can hurt them, but they are always there.

My mother and her brother, circa 1937

But they are not perfect.  They make mistakes and sometimes they can be cruel, because the things they say to us are given such importance by us.  And sometimes they do the cruelest thing of all - they leave us or we leave them or they have to go and die on us.  And that is the most frustrating, because they are the keepers of all childhood knowledge and you will never know why you or they did such and such when you were 5 years old.

Graduating from the university of new brunswick, 1956

My mother passed away when I was 37 years old.  I still miss her, and every time I have a piece of good news, I want to call and tell her.  She was a good mother to me and if any of you find me funny and friendly and intelligent at all, it is probably because she was so funny and friendly and intelligent.

I have been a mother since 1992.  I have never regretted the decision to have children, though it can be messy and frustrating and hard.  But when I think of my daughter and my son, I have feelings of great happiness and joy.  They will soon be leaving me to move on to their own lives.  And I will continue to ask questions that are really none of my business and sometimes, they will answer them.  Sometimes they will not.  And then, god willing, I will become a grandmother, and will be enjoy watching them be the good parents that I know they will be.

My babies, Fall, 1995

Our mothers are the first of many loves of our lives.  So while today is always a bit bittersweet for me, I will remember only the good times and the happy memories.  And hope that my children will do the same.

Much love and joy to you today!  Stay Safe out there!

30 comments:

  1. Beautiful post Wendy! Mother's Day is a mixed bag for me, I love the homemade gifts from my kids and the attention they give me on this day, I'm very nosy about my children and I find them fascinating. My own mother was indifferent to us and didn't know any details about us, even when we were small, then she left the family and I never hear from her, she just doesn't seem to care. I was always afraid I would end up like her, really cold and removed but I haven't thank goodness and I can't imagine being that way about my children, I just don't get it.
    I'm sorry you lost your Mother when you were young, that's tough and she sounds wonderful. I hope you relive many happy memories today!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dani - I was thinking of you and GF when I wrote this post. Sometimes is easier to lose them the way GF and I did (though hers was so much younger!) than the way you did. I am like you - I cannot imagine an indifferent mother! it must be a bit of an abberation of nature - most of us mothers are too into our kids for their (and our) own good!

      Delete
  2. What a beautiful post, WMM! I hope your Mother's Day is a very special one filled with lots of love, laughter, and happiness! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks FFM! I just received a scalp massager (along with some more "typical" gifts! Although I think I may like the scalp massager best!

      Delete
  3. So true. I have always been a bit "Type-A Detail Oriented" but being a mom has made me borderline OCD. Details are important because we are the ones who lose hours of our lives to "Mommmmmm I can't find my teddy" or "Mommmmm this shirt has a stain and now I have nothing to wear". My husband is great--cooks, cleans, does laundry--but is just less likely to care about finding lost toys or fixing stains. I'm the one who is invested in that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes. I often think that Barry's job is to make them carefree and less neurotic! He is like your husband - very good, but knows I have the rest covered and doesn't worry at all!

      Delete
  4. Thanks for this wonderful post. Being a mother is the hardest, most complex job. Finding the right amount of firmness so they don't become self-indulgent is a challenge. I think my mom had it easier, there were less distractions and choices for kids then. To all the ladies (moms & non-moms) enjoy the day off. As my husband always jokes at this time of the year: "Kids mommy can't do the dishes today, just leave it on the sink for Monday".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG - your husband's joke made me laugh out loud!!!!

      Delete
  5. Nice post, WMM. My mum is now 88 and quite frail but mentally intact. She was not concerned with the details of us, I don't think; did not like to cook ( so we daughters all cook like mad), did not concern herself with my education ("she's smart, she'll figure it out"), never really talked to us in depth. We have a much different relationship now, much more open. I sometimes think I concern myself too much with the details of my emerging adults' lives. If the fog ever lifts, I plan to spend the day in the garden as I have spent most Mother's Days. This was always my gift, not to be interrupted for a few hours outside. Have a good mother's day-- you sound like a good mother!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it is pouring rain here, so will leave the garden for a couple more days! Funny - my mother was not a cooker or a cleaner, either. Give her a good book and she was away to the races! But she was always very enthusiastic about our goings on and while she (like me!) was far from perfect, she certainly did the best she could, which i guess is all you can ask of someone!

      Delete
  6. Thank you so much for this beautiful post and sharing your memories of your mother.

    Like many people, I have had a complex relationship with my mother and for quite a few years, I was really angry and resentful towards her - she was pretty much absent for large chunks of my childhood. Now that I have my own kids, I have more understanding and sympathy towards what she went through when I was younger. She is so happy when she gets together with the kids, and I feel like I can let much of that past history go.

    Happy Mother's Day - I hope you have a wonderful day!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Louise - the relationships are complex. I remember once sharing something i had written with my mother and she accused me of plagiarism because she thought it was too good to have been written by me! talk about a back-handed compliment! But she was always there in other ways, so I guess you take the whole person!

      Delete
  7. My mom was amazing, I lost her 7 years ago. I wish my kids could have known her longer. Keepers of the details, that is so true. Happy Mothers Day! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think these days are hard sometimes. I am dreading father's day this year, but will focus on Barry!

      Delete
    2. That will be a tough one for sure.

      Delete
  8. Hi Wendy,
    Happy Mother's Day to you. As you celebrate today , you and Barry must be thrilled with the great young adults you have. I couldn't imagine losing my Mom as you did. Even though mine has been gone for 5 years I still miss her terribly. Enjoy the day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Marsha! Happy Mother's Day to you as well! I think we never get over losing our parents, I think we just get used to it, don't you?

      Delete
  9. What a beautiful post, WMM. I can't be with my mom today in person, but she's always in my heart too. Sending you virtual hugs and wishes for a very Happy Mother's Day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi ABC! My son sent me a text this morning that was pretty funny - so guess you don;t have to be there in person - the thought's what counts! Have a lovely Sunday!

      Delete
  10. Happy Mother's Day! I love my momma and I love being a momma. I have gotten a wonderful chocolate everyday this week...chocolate covered potato chips, Tennessee walking stick (so good), etc.. Ending with chocolate popcorn to eat this evening while watching Game of Thrones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm - those are children who love you!

      Delete
  11. Beautiful beautiful post. Mothers are the keepers of our childhood and with them we can still be the child the daughter (when sometimes it gets too hard to be always the mother). Your mother was so glamorous, love those old photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny - she became decidedly less glamourous later on - I can remember her wearing a bart simpson tshirt! The 50s was a real glamourous times - very Dior new look and she had a teeny tiny waist that suited it!

      Delete
  12. Beautiful post Wendy! Thanks for sharing. Happy Mother's Day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Audrey! I hope you and the Boy are having a great day!

      Delete
  13. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject of mothers! Hope you had a fabulous day! We are off to meet my parents for dinner soon.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Happy Mother's Day Wendy. I wish you a wonderful day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks xoxo - I really hope you join me soon!

      Delete

Kindness is a virtue...