Sunday, May 10, 2015

To My Mom On Mother's Day

Well, only an hour left of Mother's Day and I kind of wish I did more for my own Mom. Then again, what can you do that's adequate? Thanks Mom, for giving me life and guiding me from an ameba to a full fledged human being with spawn of my own, here's brunch as a token of my sincere appreciation?

I guess that's really the point of Mother's Day. We expect mothers to just be there, and as mothers ourselves we don't expect or need to be thanked or given a pat. Mother's Day is a reminder that, although we can never sum up the depth of our awe of mothers and all of those mother figures, we can't overlook their importance either. So here's my two cents:

To My Mom,

Now that I have children of my own I intimately understand the enormity of the sacrifices you made and continue to make. I know I was a (ahem) surprise child, and certainly I put a wrench in your plans to become empty nesters, with your only child ony two years away from college. I have many times tried to imagine that moment of realization when you found out that you would be essentially starting over, and that conversation when you broke the news to Dad. I am sure it was scary and maybe even somewhat depressing to discover that another child was on the way, but you did it. That is the first thank you.

As a parent of young children myself, I know sleep deprivation like I never have before, and then I think, does anyone ever thank Mom for all of those sleepless nights? It's part of the gig, right? But now that I am on the flip side, I really feel that a thank you is necessary because it's darn hard to patiently rock and feed a baby, or talk through a nightmare when son of a gun you really flipping need some sleep before your eyes roll in the back of your gosh darn head permanently. See, I am keeping my language clean. In all seriousness, children are instinctively selfish and they have no idea that it is so difficult for Mommy to stay up all night and then get up and take care of them the next day when she can't stop guzzling coffee and fantasizing about pillows and horizontal positions (in a stictly G-rated way). Even when we get through childhood this isn't something we say thanks for because we take it for granted. I remember crawling in your bed in the middle of the night because I read a scary story and it might come true, I heard something in my closet, or my friend's older sister told me that the doll you painstakingly picked out for me for Christmas resembled a relative of Chucky and it was probably planning to kill me in my sleep. That must have been really annoying! Although, you have to admit that doll was pretty creepy. Nonetheless, I realize now how difficult it is to reassure a child with a hyperactive senses and a run away imagination, particularly when you have just been rudely awakened from a deep sleep and a dream about coffee. Seriously, that is what I dream about these days. So thanks for all of the hours upon hours of sleep that you gave up to appease my irrational fears. As convinced as I was that my doll was alive or monsters lived in my closet, I was equally convinced that they were more afraid of you than I was of them, because you know moms have super powers.

Thank you for the endless hours you spent playing mind numbing games with me. Usually when I engage in pretend play with Aiden it goes something like this:

Aiden: "Mom, you are Mrs. Antbottom and all of the students and I am Mr. Aiden, so bring the kids on a field trip, okay?"

Me: "Okay."

Aiden: "Say in a Mrs. Antbottom voice, 'Now class, we are at the new factory for our field trip today.' Then say in the kids' voices, 'What kind of factory is this, Mrs. Antbottom?'"

Me: (in a loud squeaky voice) "Now class, we are here at the new factory for our field trip." (in kid voices, whatever that means) "Are we going to see Mr. Aiden today, Mrs. Antbottom?"

Aiden: "Mom! No, they don't ask that! They are supposed to ask what kind of factory this is. Then you answer in a Mrs Antbottom voice that this is a recycling factory, and THEN they can ask if Mr. Aiden is here, and then you answer in a Mrs. Antbottom voice...."

Yeah, this goes on for about two hours. At this point I just wait for my lines. I can still remember you on the floor of my bedroom playing little people. I remember instructiing you to "say this" and "now say that". The thing is I thought you genuinely loved playing little people because you were just that into it and willing to do it. Looking back, I know you were just doing it for me and after the first forty minutes scrubbing toilets seemed entertaining. Remembering this from my own childhood makes me realize just how important it is to do it with Aiden, because it was so important to me. I hope he remembers Mrs Antbottom when he's grown up. If he doesn't I'll be sure to do the voice in front of his girlfriend so that I can embarress him.

Going along with the sleep deprivation, thanks for all the sick days that you didn't take because you couldn't. I remember you holding onto the wall sick with the flu and still taking care of me. I also remember the days you had to abandon work to take care of me when I was sick. As an adult I know that you haven't been to the seventh circle of Hell until you've had to contend with a crying child and a skull splitting migraine simultaneously.

Thank you for researching baby sitters, nannies, and schools. This is another thing I thought was simple. I was wrong.

Thank you for cooking dinner and letting me "help" even when I was more likely in the way. I have fond memories of your beef stew, and of climbing up on a chair and washing the fruit.

Thank you for choosing a good father for me. You have said before that if you did nothing else you gave us a good father. Well, as you can see you did plenty else but this one is noteworthy. I was the envy of the grammar school having a dad who picked me up from school and went on all of the field trips.

Thank you for keeping me safe. Let's face it, I was a pretty naive child with my head in the clouds. I am sure I would have thought the strange man at the park was nice.

Thank you for staying up nights worrying about me, dealing with my drama, and getting through the teenage years.

Thank you for the idyllic vacations and your willingness to take another child along so that I would have someone to hang with. Thank you for doing the Diseny thing all over again, even though by that point it must have seemed slightly less magical and slightly more hot and crowded and expensive from your perspective.

Thank you for providing for me and planning for my future. Thank you for keeping my tempermantal Lhasa Apso for fifteen years. Thank you for screening my friends. Thank you for always giving me a dollar for the ice cream man (it's double that now so I think I'll just stock the freezer) and coins for the claw machine. Thank you for that super cool pink and blue Huffy bicycle with the tassles on the handle bars. Thanks for making our house "the place to be" for my friends growing up. I realize now that this was not only fun for me but also really wise on your part.

Thank you for all the messes you cleaned up, all the swear words you didn't say, and raising me with faith. Thanks for all of the things I am too tired to put into words because I am still in the sleep deprivation phase and already scared of the teenage years. Thanks for your support now. And finally... drumroll please... the one you have been waiting for...

Thank you for making me go to that "dumb church group for losers" since that is where I met my husband.

Happy Mother's Day Mom! Love You!

A Daughter and Fellow Mom

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