So Yeah, Mother’s Day

Tomorrow, here in the United States, we celebrate Mother’s Day. I’m a mom, and  I have to admit that when this day hits every year, I’m filled with mixed-emotions. Why do I get celebrated for being the receiver of an amazing gift I hope I never take for granted? This year I realize that Mother’s Day is much more than getting spoiled for a day. It’s a healthy reminder to step back and evaluate my own job.

How am I doing? What can I do to make myself a better mother? It’s a tricky question since the stages of life my kids are in bring changes I’ve never dealt with before. One chickee has flown the coop and is making a life for himself across the country. Another is entering his third year of college, looking for an apartment of his own. And the youngest is about to enter college himself, leaving us with an empty nest.

They don’t need me in the same capacity they used to. And now they are old enough to look back and relate to some of the methods and parenting strategies we used when they were young. Setting curfews and applying band-aids have morphed into discussions regarding finances and job hunting.

And girls. There are now girls in the picture. Serious relationships as in I might already be having regular interactions with two potential daughters-in-law. Daughters. In this house of men. We’ve been through more tissues in the past two years than we have in the prior twenty years combined. These girls have broadened our horizons as they teach us about psychology, vegetarianism, art, music and business (the passions they bring to the table). It’s a good thing, but a very strange arena for a momma of boys to play in, and I feel as if I am under-qualified to nurture them. But I am so thankful for them.

My men have hinted at gifts they plan to give me tomorrow. They seem unaware that they provide me with gifts every day. Just in this past week, my husband came home early from a business trip just so he could be here for Mother’s Day, and he has been hunting around to find the perfect meal to make for me.

CJ has been in contact regularly from Utah. And he’s always trying to get me to visit there or even move out there. What more can a mom want then to have a child request that they move out to join them? Mind-blown. And Zeb, Bri and Hudi each stepped up to the plate and offered to cook dinner while Chris was gone, knowing I really don’t appreciate kitchen time. Lauren is planning to come over and go on walks with me on Mother’s Day, even though she is in the final stages of her senior year, and is ready for some peace-and-quiet.

I am one blessed lady. I’m also one who realizes that these gifts are something to protect. I need to remember to treasure the bearers of these gifts and make myself worthy. I hope that going forward, I can be a help to these kiddos without trying to take control. My age and lessons-learned should be assets that help them grow stronger. I want to be the roots that stay hidden in the background as these incredible young men and women spring up to be the glorious flowers I know they have the capability of being. And I hope I remember to re-evaluate myself every Mother’s Day, to optimize my offerings for this incredible role I was fortunate enough to receive.


I’m Old Enough to Wear Purple

…But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

It’s been my dream for a really long time. Ever since a high school English class where we studied the poem Warning by Jenny Joseph. I wanted to wait until my hair turned grey, but I apparently inherited my father’s genes (he didn’t start greying until his 60s), and I got tired of waiting.  I don’t want to wear purple clothes, but playing with hair color is a treat. When I work, the purple ends dance across my shoulders, and it brings me much joy.

by Jenny Joseph

With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Taken from the book
When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple
Edited by Sandra Martz
Papier Mache Press–Watsonville, California 1987