Sunday is Mother’s Day. If somehow that comes as a shock to you, then you need to step away from the computer, head to your nearest Hallmark and buy your mama a card. Then mail it. Or hand-deliver it, whichever works. But let your mom know that you’re thinking about her.
I have had some amazing moms in my life. Yeah, moms. Lemme ‘splain.
My Mother-In-Law. Our poor maternal in-laws, they get such a bum rap. Now, I know some of them earn that reputation, but there are so many amazing in-laws that hardly get any air time. Take it from me, very few people want to hear about your incredible mother-in-law. They only want to hear about the time she gave the 6-month-old baby chocolate-covered peanuts while administering the first haircut, all without the baby’s mother’s approval and/or knowledge. I don’t have any stories like that about my mother-in-law. She is sweet and loving, honest and caring. She respects my decisions for my girls, and if she’s going to give unsolicited advice, she does it in such a soft and sensitive way.
She also gets a zillion brownie points for raising The Husband to be the man that he is today.
My Granny. That’s my mom’s mom. I lived with Granny for several years. Even though she was mostly homebound and connected to an oxygen tank while I was there, that didn’t stop her from caring for people. It didn’t stop her from taking action when action needed to be taken. If a family member was in the hospital and Granny couldn’t visit, you could bet that she was going to be calling the nurse’s station to find out how they were doing, and making sure that they were being well taken care of. When I was away at college, she sent me cards and care packages a couple of times. When I’d come home, she’d make sure one of my favorite meals was waiting for me.
There were times when Granny’s emphysema made it very difficult for her to even get around her own home. She didn’t feel sorry for herself, though. The world never just revolved around her. Sure, she certainly could have been considered a “tough old bird,” but that woman had a heart of gold. You never wondered where you stood with her, you always knew that she cared.
I can be so self-absorbed sometimes, and narrow-minded, only considering how certain things will affect me and my life. Then I think about Granny, who could have very well given up on caring about other people and their needs — she had her own problems to deal with! But she didn’t. She did the best she could with what she had in any situation. She was awesome.
My Mom. What can I say about my own mom? I know growing up that I never wondered if my mom loved me, I always knew. And it wasn’t like she was a huggy-touchy-feely kind of person — I just KNEW. Maybe it was in the way she took care of us. The Husband still has to remind me when I’m sick that he’s not my mom. When I was younger and would have to stay home from school, it seemed like I never had to ask for anything, it would just appear. I would think, “Boy, a small glass of juice would be great right now,” and there she would be with a glass of juice! Or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with just the right amount of each spread on to the slices of bread.
Sure, as I grew up I had my moments of “ohmygosh my mom doesn’t know ANYTHING,” but I’m pretty sure those moments passed quickly, because I always thought my mom was brilliant. Not just smart, although she was and is very smart, but also wise. Oh, so wise. And, almost, all-knowing. I can’t even count the number of times I would confess something, only for her to tell me she already knew. And she never made me feel like my problems were small. I’m sure in her life she had plenty of her own crap to deal with, but she always took the time to hear about mine.
If ever I have met someone who knew or knows my mom, they always have kind things to say. I consider it high praise when someone says, “You remind me so much of your mom.”
Growing up, my mom was an excellent parent. Now that I’m “all grown up” (when do I actually get to feel that way?), she’s still an excellent parent, but she’s also one of my best friends. I have never been afraid to tell her anything, ask her anything, or come to her for any reason. If I can be just marginally the kind of mom to my girls that she was to me and my sister, I think I’ll be doing okay. I would love for them to grow up and have the kind of relationship with me that I have with her.
Moms out there, I hope you have a very Happy Mother’s Day.
To my mom, I love you so much. You are an incredible woman and a wonderful mother. You’re also a pretty awesome Nana. Thank you for everything — for being you, and for making me me. You are the wind beneath my wings.
What? Too much?
I love you.