I woke up the morning of Mother’s Day 2006, an event manager for a music pavilion, with everything from the hip down swollen and screaming for me to stand as little as possible. I had been on my feet from 9am til around 12:30am the day before, hustling around a sold out country music festival, with very little resting throughout. It was my job to make sure that every cowboy hat was fed, watered and not drinking under age. I was pretty uncomfortable, but it was a good kind of uncomfortable – a proud, accomplished uncomfortable – knowing that had I contributed to the success of a big event. It would have been easy to complain, but then I realized that it was Mother’s Day; and that a lot of women put in way longer hours than I had. They have that proud, accomplished, uncomfortable fatigue as a regular part of their day – they’re mothers.
Most of the mothers I know work. They put in their 8+ hours for a paycheck and then rush home to soccer practice, t-ball, ballet, to this or that recital. They’re picking up groceries and dropping off kids, getting home many times long after dark, eating dinner only after the homework has been done, the kids have clothes for the next morning (sometimes even ironed!), and MAYBE finding a few minutes of quiet time for themselves, or with their husbands. They are caregivers, but they are so much more. They are referees, chauffeurs, chefs, project managers, warriors of nightmares, nurses for scraped knees, teachers, philosophers, fortune tellers – and when all the jobs are done, they are the warm hugs and the kisses good night. There is another group of women, however, that are not all mothers in the biological sense, but I realized this morning, in the fog of my proud fatigue, that you are MY mothers – each of you.
I give credit where credit is due – only one of you actually gave birth to me. Mom, thanks for putting up with my unusually large head. I’m glad it didn’t have to be by C- section, and I am sorry our relationship started out with the kind of pain that puts that procedure into question. But the rest of you are in many ways my mothers too: the support, friendship, mentoring and nurturing to help me on my journey. You laugh at my jokes, you point out when I’m being anything but funny, and you let me know when there’s something between my teeth. You let me vent, help me solve life’s riddles, teach me how to cook and how to sew, how to know what color and clothing combinations look better with my skin tones and bone structure. You help me find my way out of a dead-end job, and are there to celebrate it when I do. You let me walk with you on your journeys, teaching me how to be a better mentor, friend, mother.
Mother’s Day is a day to thank our mom’s for C-sections and the Christmas cookies they let us help them bake. But this morning, I see it as a celebration of the women in our lives who share their gifts with me the same way a mother does to her child.
OK, enough of my introspective, philosophical soapbox chat. MOMS!!! HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!! I hope you got pretty flowers, a yummy lunch or a pretty necklace, to remind you of how special you are!