Saturday, May 07, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

As I leaned down to kiss my sleeping child on his forehead tonight, a tear fell as a flood of emotions welled up inside. Over the past few weeks, I have struggled to stay composed when the longing for my own mother hits. I lost her 13 years ago to cancer and the missing had gradually gotten a little easier until recently.

As a Mom, I often fall prey to the realization that, contrary to my belief as a coming-of-age young woman, my mother actually DID know what she was talking about. Whether the topic in question involved boys, clothes, sibling spats... she really did have my best interest at heart when dispensing sage tidbits of advice. But back then, I would have just as soon changed my name and moved to Mars than to admit that she was right.

And she was almost always right.

Now, my daily encounter with a 14-year old son that thinks I am the possibly the UNcoolest person he knows makes me want to shake my teenage self and scream "LISTEN TO HER. She's NOT ancient and out-of-the-loop. She sees the bigger picture a lot clearer than you do!" If only I could.

Perhaps the biggest part of the struggle is wanting to share Mom-stuff with her or ask for advice when the boys are fighting or I feel like a failure trying to find balance each day. But she's not a phone call away. I long to commiserate on the challenges of parenthood as much as I would give anything to see her at my son's field day in her big floppy hat and sandals. I want to post a current picture of my Mom and me on my Facebook profile instead of a grainy image from over a decade ago. I want to give her yellow roses and share recipes and go to Mom & Daughter functions at church and all the perks of having an adult relationship with the woman that raised you.

I'm pretty sure the recent struggle goes deeper than the melancholy of a Mom-less Mother's Day. It is a soul-gripping ache for her to know my children and know me as a Mom. She would devour my oldest child's sarcasm and quick wit as much as she would cherish my youngest son's sweet hugs and tender heart. And they would love their Grammy, too. Her creativity and the cackle of her laughter would draw them in as much as her warmth of her hugs. I want them to know what an amazing woman their Grammy was.

So as the onslaught of this holiday rolls around in a matter of hours, I pause to reflect on the blessing of not only being a Mom but having so many fond memories of my own mother. I miss that selfless, artsy-fartsy, giving, funny, piano-playing, Skittle-and-sunset-loving woman. I was blessed to have her for 31 years and, for that, I celebrate this Mother's Day.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I may not have realized it at 14, but this 44-year old woman knows all the sacrifices you made for me. I realize that you knew so much more than I ever gave you credit for. He wasn't right for me. That skirt was too short. I really can do anything I set my mind to. And, yes, being a Mom is the hardest--yet most rewarding-- thing I'll ever do.

Get ready for this Mom.....

You were right.

In loving memory of Patricia Trotter
June 3, 1945 - March 13, 2003