“Unfortunately for my cat, I tend to take a lot of stress out on him and find myself screaming things like, “I don’t need to hear whining out of you too you little #*!$#.” I know—horrific behavior. But it was either him or the kids and I thought it best to keep the swearing on the down-low until they’re about 10.” —Mama at generationsuncorked.com
In what proved to be an ironic twist, I ran into the mother of a former high school friend while waiting for my Cinco de Mayo margarita. She was alone in her booth with a festive plate and pretty frozen drink, so I went over to say hello and was greeted with the friendliest smile and hug.
Our houses weren’t more than a few short blocks away from each other in our hometown and she saw me grow up just as my mom saw her daughter.
After her husband’s death, the time came, also just as it did with my mother, when the maintenance and inconvenience of a big house in a small town became too much. She moved away and into a place of her own. Just one of those curve balls that life throws. (My mom smacked hers out of the park by moving to her very first apartment in the city at age 72.)
My classmate’s mom and I talked about her new place, her family and the fact that her oldest grandchild was graduating college. I gave her my summary of the kids are good, etc. As I left she smiled and told me “don’t worry about all those little things that bother you.” Spoken like a mom who’s been there and knows more than I do.
May is stepping up as one of my favorite months. (And it’s not just about Cinco de Mayo, although another reason to have a burrito jalisco never hurt anybody.)
Normally I am a fall person. I like autumn for its bright cool nights with that first reminder to get the fireplace ready and the books and blankets, hot chocolate and Christmas are all stacking up within arm’s reach.
But May is gaining. I let myself get wrapped up in Mother’s Day as soon as April ends. Of all the jobs I hold, I like this one best. Crappy hours and minimal pay, but the benefits are good. And you can’t beat the title.
Another plus is the end of the school year. I can only attribute this to flashbacks of my own childhood. The anticipation of that first Monday morning of sleeping in never quite leaves you. When I sense that same anxious sigh from my kids, it brings back the feeling.
I had said in an earlier column that I chose the word “perspective” as my focus word for this year and it’s sticking with me through this Mother’s Day. I am routinely riddled with self-doubt as much as the next parent and feel pretty sure that I have a lot of nerve attempting to raise other people. But prepared or not, this is my role and I am blessed—end of story. I am mom to two smart, healthy kids who like me back, daughter to a loving mom of eight children who beat the daylights out of Stage 4 lymphoma and is going stronger than any 76 year old I’ve ever known. I have a niece who’s celebrating her first Mother’s Day, a friend who’s doing the same, and a sister who’s celebrating her first Mother’s Day as a grandma.
Who am I to doubt my place in this circle of moms?
I found it ironic that both my classmate’s mom and I were in the same restaurant on the same night so close to Mother’s Day, and the conversation naturally turned to our kids. Regardless of generation, this is what we do. We think about them all the time, worry about them even more, make some decisions and eventually just let go of the wheel.
And when the opportunity presents itself, we throw back a basket of chips and a mango margarita.