Monday, May 11, 2009

Six Snippets about Mother's Day

This past week, I spent a few minutes helping a coworker brainstorm some ideas of possible gifts to get his wife, the mother of his two sons, for Mother's Day. This guy is a good guy, nice and hardworking, and a great dad to his boys.

I don't know his wife very well, so it was hard to suggest something, but I could see that even though this guy doesn't think Mother's Day, and all those other "Hallmark" holidays are very important, the woman who carried, labored, delivered, nursed, and is raising his sons is very important, perhaps the most important thing in the universe to him.

While we talked about lotions and gadgets and man-friendly stores, I realized how much he loves his wife. What gift can speak of that kind of love?

Buzz always wants to spend a lot of money and lavishly spoil me on Mother's Day. I have a nice watch courtesy of "Mother's Day" and other beautiful jewelry, too. So, I'm not totally knocking Mother's Day, that's for sure. But, I always tell him, "Please don't."

This year, I asked for a new clothesline in my backyard, something I can hang the linens on when we have a week like we did this past week: 4 nighttime "accidents" and two days of sickness in our house. Accidents that, with help from Buzz some mornings, I clean up. Sickness that leaves me useless for two days: the first, holding onto my sick boy; the second, sick myself.

Last night, I played with Flower in the front yard to keep her away from the "men" as they worked on my clothesline in the backyard. I could hear Spark's voice, filled with excitement, as he "worked" with Daddy.

The first year that Buzz got me anything for Mother's Day was 2002. I was a senior in college, we were barely married, and I was pregnant. The gift was maternity clothes and one of the sweetest cards I have ever received.

The next day, a Monday, I heard the words, "I'm sorry, but there's no heartbeat," as the ultrasound sonographer held a "tampon-sized" wand inside me.

May, 2005. I have a 6-month old son by the time Mother's Day rolls around. Life is crazy, but good. I'm finally learning what everyone meant by the words, "Having kids will change your life forever, but one day you'll forget what life was like before you had them."

Last year I cried on Mother's Day because I had to clean the bathrooms. They were nasty, needed cleaning, and I was the only one around to clean them.  And, I had myself a little pity party over the fact that I was the one doing the cleaning and not some magic fairy on Mother's Day of all days. I cried alone like I always do when I cry.

Yesterday, I spent the day being my kids' mom all day. Buzz had to work, and that was ok. I fed our kids, clothed them, fed them again, took them to church, fed them again, bathed them, clothed them again. But, I also played with them, purposefully, something that I'm sad that I don't do more often.

I took Spark and Flower both into my arms, and we had an honest-to-goodness, all-out ticklefest. We all laughed and laughed. I cried as I watched them laugh. Spark looked at my tears for a second. I saw him looking at the tears, but he didn't say anything. Then, I realized that I was crying but I was not alone.

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