Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

These flowers arrived at my front door early this morning from my son in New York. 


I answered the door in my nightgown, crooked housecoat, and with Heidi in my arms. "Well happy Mother's Day" the delivery man said to me, but you could tell he was thinking "man I hope that's not her mother."


Mother's day always comes with laughs for me.


Recently when I was in Winnipeg my youngest sister, who is deaf, told my mother she had been neglected.


Now really this is hysterical. 


My mother has devoted her life to that kid, doing flashcards for language that she had sent in the mail to our small Prairie town, packing the whole family up to move from Manitoba to the best deaf school in the country in Montreal, moving back to Winnipeg when that was the best place for a deaf adolescent who would never speak French, as was suddenly required in Quebec. My mother is Mrs. Deafness. What she went through for all of us, my sister in particular, is the stuff of legend.


So why, after all of that, did my sister feel hard done by?


She feels she was sent to school with pants that were too short and she looked dumb. 


After all of that all she remembers from her childhood is a hemline.


I am not sure if you can get all of this in the telling, I can remember laughing so hard at the idea that my mother had neglected any of us, my sister in particular, I thought I was going to throw up.


The point is that this is what motherhood is about.


No one really knows what mothers do for them, their kids least of all. 


No mother's day celebration really can express how much we owe our mothers.


But even still, every mother knows too that the thanks should be the other way around.


I should be sending my son flowers.


When you become a mother all the white noise of life  disappears, everything zeros into one thought:


That's my kid.


 Sometimes it's the child you have, sometimes the child you choose, sometimes it's the child who chooses you.


What an incredible privilege it is to have that feeling in your lifetime. It's worth a lifetime to have felt it.


Happy mother's day.


I know.

6 comments:

annie said...

I did send my children cards one year telling them what I most admired about them and what a privilege it is to be their mother. I enjoyed doing that so much more than any thing they do for me.

Jodie said...

Great post! Enjoy your Mother's Day (and any day, really) with your family.

Branka said...

You need to stop making me cry with your incredibly beautiful posts.. thank you.

Bunny said...

I don't know who can get to me more on this subject, you or Erma Bombeck. You have really touched me. Thanks, Barb, and Happy Mother's day.

Jane M said...

Wonderful again, Barb, and so glad that you can enjoy this day and those family memories. I was just sharing with friends today how we all tell our stories to one another....but they are only stories, not necessarily truths. Sometimes it takes the perspective of others to see how crazy our story is.

Anonymous said...

yes

V in Oslo