On being a mother, their mother

I had a pretty low key Mother’s Day. That’s the way I wanted it. The last thing I wanted was to take my teens somewhere they didn’t want to be surrounded by hordes of whining little kids. Been there, done that…

Instead, Paul grilled ribs and we played yard games.

My mom stopped by with Matt for awhile. He is slowly starting to get better. Now the doctors think he may have had a virus. No one really knows for sure..but he is starting to get better which is all that matters. I was worried there for awhile.

My daughter came home from college for the summer. It seems like yesterday that I told you I was dropping her off. I can’t believe the year went by so fast.

My baby turned 14 a few days ago. We had her last middle school choir concert. Soon she will be starting high school. The first of the lasts for her, the last of the firsts for us.

Time seems to be whirling by fast for the young folks, but here I am still the same.

At church on Sunday, we decided to sponsor a boy from Africa. He looked so skinny and sad that we turned in the money pretty quickly. The paperwork said that he is an average student. My son is pretty happy that I will now be nagging someone else about grades.

My son wants to get a motorcycle. He will be 17 next month. You better get your grades up son! If I let him get his temps now, maybe he will develop good habits. If I make him wait until 18, he might just say that he is an adult and can do what he wants…blah, blah, blah..

Even though my kids are all teens now, they still keep me on my feet.

But I am happy to be a mother, their mother.

 

 

A special (needs) Mother’s Day

Last weekend I told you that my mom left early before she could celebrate my son’s accomplishments at state by going out to eat with us.

What I didn’t tell you was by the time she got home my brother Matt was sick. He was sick enough to lose 9 lbs in less than a week. He couldn’t keep down any food. He was also having involuntary movement of his jaw. He was anxious and restless without much sleep.

My mom scheduled a doctor appointment for Matt after he was sick for several days without improving. The doctor thought that he was going through withdrawal.

Last month Matt’s liver was showing signs of stress so it was decided that he would go off of his anti-psychotic meds that he was on for almost 20 years.

Apparently his psychiatrist took him off his medication too fast. Then he retired and moved to Florida without a replacement.

I feel really sad about everything that happened over this past week, not just for my brother but for my mother too.

I really want to spend Mother’s Day with my mom tomorrow but it seems like she is too busy mothering.

Is it selfish of me to want my mother to myself? To want her to fully participate in my kids events?? Should I want that when my brother needs her so much more??

When I was on speaker phone with my mom a few days ago, I could hear Matt throwing up in the background. I could hear the pain in my mom’s voice.

To be honest, I just want to run away from the whole situation..

I want to be able to spend the day with my mom tomorrow, but at this point I am not sure what is going to happen..

Sometimes I even feel guilty for wanting my mom’s time.

Mother’s Day is the least of her concerns right now, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want it to be special for her…and not in the special needs kind of way..

What I truly want for Mother’s Day

What I truly want for Mother’s Day…

Baby, I want to hold your tiny hand in mine one more time.

I want to gather you back into the safety of my nest.

I want to be able to kiss your owwies and take away your pain.

I want you to still think that I have all of the answers and that the world is a good and magical place.

I want to sit you on my lap and read your favorite stories…I can’t seem to remember the day it all ended.

I want to laugh off the people that say it goes by so fast as I hold a crying baby in my arms.

What I truly want for Mother’s Day…

Mother, I want to see the excitement in your eyes as I give you my scribbles on a piece of pink construction paper.

I want to see the beauty of your young face and the natural color of your hair. I don’t want to see signs of you slipping away from me.

I don’t want to think that this could be our last year together like last year was for my husband’s mother.

I want to think that the little things I do or say give you lasting happiness more than flowers or a card someone else wrote on this one day of the year.

What I truly want for Mother’s Day…

Grandma, how I long to hear your voice again…to hear you sing like a bird…to tell you that you gave my daughter your gift. I want you to fully understand the influence you have had on my life and how that impacted my children.

I want to smell fresh cookies as I walk into your house and know that you made a special batch just for me.

I want you to answer the phone when I call.

I long to see your house again, the way it was before the new people moved in.

I want to smell your sweet perfume, even the scent that remains in the half empty bottle is beginning to fade.

I wish you could walk alongside of me on this journey again..

This is what I truly want for Mother’s Day.

The (not so) little things

This past weekend we took my mother-in-law out for Mother’s Day. I also took Friday off to spend the day with my mom. We went for a massage then I took her out to Red Lobster for seafood. The rest of the week previous to Mother’s Day, I spent being a mother. I watched my kids perform more days than I didn’t. It was fun but busy, busy, busy.

Paul was gone almost all of last week for work. I was happy to hear that our business friends missed me. They said that Paul was downright boring without me around. I suspected that. LOL. I am the one that is up for anything. Well, except zip lining. I would never do that. I received a message from a friend saying that she missed me at the conference and hoped I was having a great Mother’s Day. It really meant a lot.

Saturday Angel went to state for her solo and ensemble pieces at my old college campus. It was strange walking through those halls again. I haven’t been on campus since I graduated 19 years ago. Nothing really changed much on campus, except for me. I am not the same person that lived on crackers, minute rice, and macaroni and cheese. I was thinking about that as I was sitting in the same location that I used to eat my meager snacks. It was strange being there with my daughter who is close to the age I was back then. Some day I will have to tell you some pretty good stories about my psycho roommates, but I have so many more stories to get through before that.

By the time Mother’s Day rolled around on Sunday, I just wanted to stay home!

We did go to church on Mother’s Day. I sang a solo about motherhood, my two daughters performed in the Mother’s Day celebration as well. Then I forced the kids to stay home and spend time with me. We played indoor and outdoor games. We even went for a family walk around the neighborhood like we did when the kids were small. Except, of course, this time they were not sitting in a wagon, stroller, or in a back pack.

I took joy in the little things. I didn’t want gifts or jewelry, I just wanted everyone to get along for the day. I thought the day went pretty well, except it could’ve been warmer. 

I received my favorite Mother’s Day gift several years back. I told Paul that I wanted him to put up a clothesline for me in the backyard. I have a bit of a laundry fetish. Since my old washer started smoking, I’ve been wanting to write many posts about my joy over my new front loading washer. But I thought I would spare you from that. You’re welcome! Angel and I sat in front of the new washer with a bowl of popcorn for the first load. We lead pathetic lives in WI. I’ll blame it on the cold climate and lack of sunshine. 

Anyway, Paul constructed a clothesline for Mother’s Day. Nothing relaxes me more than hanging laundry on the line and watching it billow gently in the breeze. That very summer, I received a call from the gas company worried that our gas meter was not working right. I told them that I wasn’t using my gas dryer as much anymore. Then they thanked me for going green. Hey, at least my fetish saves the planet! LOL. 

That year Angel was taking an art class in school. She wanted to make me a necklace for Mother’s Day. We came up with the idea that the cord for the necklace could be a clothesline. Then she designed a pair of shorts to be hanging from the clothesline. Maybe that is why I like sailing. There is nothing like watching sheets blow on the lines. Hmmm… 

Sometimes it is the (not so) little things in life that mean the most. 

Our last supper

Paul and I decided to take his mother Martha out to eat for one last Mother’s Day celebration where we can all be together.

A quick recap…Martha has stage 4 lung cancer that has already spread to her brain. This will most likely be her last Mother’s Day. Plus we were able to go out with all of our kids. This will also be the last time the kids are all living at home since Angel will be in college next year several hours away. So this was the big hurrah!

We took the family out to a Japanese steak house for hibachi. Martha doesn’t get to enjoy fine dining often and was very happy for the opportunity to go out. She was very sick earlier in the day from her chemo, so we weren’t even sure the evening out would happen. We thought about just cooking a nice meal at our house. But since this is the last time, we decided to go to a small quiet restaurant and make it memorable.

We had a wonderful hibachi chef. Arabella even tried some raw tuna sushi to get ready for her trip to Japan this fall. She is very brave. Martha was wearing a baseball cap to cover her bald head. Paul made sure that she received a special chef hat that they reserve for birthday parties. I took a lot of pictures.

When we received the bill, we were told that Martha’s supper was paid for. Someone at the table next to ours covered her bill.

Paul went over to the table and thanked the man. They embraced. Later the man followed Paul into the parking lot. He told Paul that his mother passed away a few months ago from cancer. He wanted Paul to pass on this generosity someday to another person going through the same thing.

Once again, the two grown men embraced. Total strangers sharing a moment of sorrow over their dead and dying mothers on Mother’s Day weekend.

Together they wept in each others arms.

I have never seen two big masculine men sobbing together in a parking lot before. Complete strangers for a brief moment sharing the same pain.

It was very moving.

 

What I really want for Mother’s Day

You have expressed concerns that you do not have money to buy me anything for Mother’s Day, but it is not your gifts that I want. I want something much more difficult than that.

I want peace. 

I am sick of hearing your constant fighting. I don’t like how you tease each other and put each other down. I have had enough. I don’t care if you have to fake that you like each other.

I want hope.

I  want to believe you have a good future. I want you to be organized. I want you to turn in your assignments on time. I want you to enjoy life long learning. I want you to care about your grades. I don’t want you to tell me that you don’t care about school, that you will never need to use the things you are learning in real life. I don’t want you to struggle.

I want respect.

When I tell you to do something, I actually want you to do it. I don’t want you to tell me that you are going to do it later or say that you are not going to do it. I don’t want you to ask me why I am asking you to do something, I just want you to do it.

I want character.

I don’t want to hear you whine about how hard your life is because I asked you to do something that you don’t want to do. You father and I worked very hard to provide you with the ideal childhood, something neither one of us had. Your attitude towards us and our sacrifices for you is very hurtful. I don’t want to always feel angry with you.

I want responsibility. 

I don’t want to tell you repeatedly to wake up in the morning. I want you to get yourself up for school. It makes me feel stressed out when you almost miss the bus almost every morning. I don’t want to hear you complain about having a bedtime, especially since you can’t seem to get yourself out of bed.

I want faith.

I want you to grasp onto something bigger than yourself to help you through the hard times in your life. Your dad and I won’t always be here to protect you from the storms of life.

Maybe this gift will cost more than you can give me at this time. 

Some of you are further down the road than others at giving me this gift. 

Even though I really want the gift of knowing that someday you will be responsible well adjusted adults, this gift is not really for me. It’s for you.