On Mother’s Day

When my grandma was dying from stroke-related causes, she was inconsolable at night. A few days after my grandfather died in the nursing home room they shared, my parents moved her home; her new resting place a hospital bed in the room that had been my gradnfather’s for years after his own stroke had severely disabled him. 

As my husband and I lay upstairs one night after my grandfather died, I could hear her cries for help and sobs. My mom had spent hours with her mother, consoling her, calming her down, but it was the middle of the night and she needed to sleep. So I took a turn. I crept down the stairs and opened the door. “Nanny,” I said. “It’s okay.” 

“Help me!” she cried, “Help!” 

“Would you like me to read to you?” I asked. A Bible was laying next to her bed. I picked it up and somehow ended up in Revelation, hoping to find something in those words to comfort her. I ended up skipping entire chapters. Revelation is not a comforting book. 

“Let’s sing some songs,” I told her. 

Amazing Grace. Jesus Loves Me. What a Friend We Have in Jesus. 

It’s amazing how entire verses were stored in my memory. I sang and sang as she quieted down. She was comforted. 

Hours went by. I sang. I stopped, and tried reading again from the Bible. I couldn’t read anything out loud without crying, not even from the Gospels. This is the book she read faithfully. This book – the reason she tithed and volunteered at church, despite her husband’s apathy to religion. Even with her faith in this book, she wasn’t sparred a devastating end to her life. 

So I sang some more. She quieted down enough to sleep, however restless, and I went back to sleep. 

A few months later, my mom called me with the news that Nanny had passed away in her sleep with her son and daughter at her side. As devastated as I was by the news,  I could not imagine a better way to die: in your sleep, surrounded by your children in your own home. 

It should have been no surprise that when I had my first son, I sang these familiar, comforting songs at bedtime, songs I knew the words to, songs that meant something to me and my family history: Jesus Loves Me, Amazing Grace, What a Friend We Have on Jesus. 

There are still days that I don’t believe any of it, that a loving God would not have allowed my grandmother to suffer the way she did. By I am certain of this: when I die, I hope I am with my children and grandchildren and that they are singing to me. 

Wishful Thinking

This year I’m ahead of the game and already bought my mom her Mother’s Day present. And then my husband asked me what I want and I couldn’t think of a single thing.

Except really, I’d love:

  • A magic wand that when waved cleans my house, and I mean really cleans it: dusting, mopping, vacuuming, scrubbing. It should sparkle it’s so clean.
  • Two nights of uninterrupted sleep. Because let’s be honest, even if my husband is willing to feed the baby a bottle, I’m going to wake up anyway, so I may as well feed him so my supply doesn’t drop, right? Junior, you’re almost 7 months old. It’s time to sleep ALL NIGHT LONG.
  • An actual spa day, with massage, facial and mani/pedi. Wishful thinking because I would never want my husband to spend that much money on me. I’d just feel guilty. Maybe when we win the lottery.
  • A day off from breastfeeding. Pumping or feeding a baby every three hours is boring and really cramps my style. I want to go clothes shopping, but if I don’t time it exactly right, I either have to bring the baby or the pump because by the time I drive to the store, try on clothes and pay, it’s time to nurse/pump again. Shopping is not fun at all right now. And that’s saying a lot because I LOVE to shop. I would also like to 1) eat a leisurely meal with my girlfriends; 2) go see a movie in the theater; and 3) see spa day above.
  • A stylist and new wardrobe.
  • A weekend away – with my husband, with my girlfriends. I just need some time away from real life. But see: still breastfeeding.
  • A week of not commuting to work, or a commute that doesn’t take at least an hour each way.

To My Son

At the park even though it snowed this morning.

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Did you have a good Mother’s Day? I got to shop for a few hours with my mom (child and husband free!) and we found a few great deals. Appropriately so, since my mom is the one who taught me all about sales! We also enjoyed a meal out with the whole family and Future President, my husband and parents all gave me gifts. It was a good day.

His very own sunnies.

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I’m so thankful to my son for giving me the gift of motherhood. I know he didn’t technically orchestrate the whole thing (thanks, babe!) but I am truly blessed.

Thanks to this little guy, I know the joy of motherhood. #mothersday

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Dear Future President,
Thank you for giving me a reason to celebrate Mother’s Day as a mother and not just a daughter.

You make me laugh and smile. You came into our lives at the perfect moment, even though it felt chaotic at the time. Daddy was a few days away from taking the bar (in a different state, no less!) and we had just moved into a new house a few weeks before you were born. In fact, Daddy wasn’t even home the day you were born because you arrived early. It’s a good thing he wasn’t far away and could drive a few hours to be at the hospital with me. Since you took a long time to arrive, he arrived in plenty of time to meet you.

You are hilarious, loving and full of life and spunk. I’ve never seen anyone so happy to see me, day after day, morning after morning. If you ever have a sibling, I can only hope they are as wonderful as you. Thank you for giving me a million reasons to smile. I love you!

xoxo,
Mommy

What Not to Buy Your Mom

I get that Mother’s Day is a Hallmark holiday. And many of my friends have complicated relationships with motherhood, so in a sense this day makes me think of them.

But inevitably if you have a mom or mother figure in your life, you probably feel obligated to get her something. (By the way, Mother’s Day is Sunday.)

Please don’t get her a vacuum cleaner, a pot or pan, a weight loss product or wrinkle cream. (Unless she has specifically requested one of these items.) In general, what I’m saying is this: don’t get her a cleaning or kitchen product or anything to suggest she’s not perfect the way she is.

You can’t go wrong with family pictures in a nice frame. My mom is notoriously hard to shop for because she doesn’t want anything and is extremely frugal. I think I pulled off a good surprise this year because I overheard her saying she liked something in a nice store. Hopefully she hasn’t bought it for herself already! In the past I’ve been successful with a pound of See’s candy (California brittle), framed photos and Stickygram magnets, mostly of my parents and Future President.

This piece is not only hilarious but true: What Mothers Really Want. My ideal day would include no cooking or cleaning, three or four uninterrupted hours all to myself to shop or get a pedicure (or both!), a nice long nap and a homemade card. But I wouldn’t turn away anything on this list, either.

I really, really love my kid. But both he and his father make terrible shopping companions.