Mother’s Day. When I was young there was one kind of mother. The kind who doesn’t work, who wears pearls in the kitchen, and gives all the right answers. Most of us, however, didn’t grow up that way. I grew up with an adoptive mother who worked and didn’t wear pearls in the kitchen, and had most of the right answers. Then I met my birth mother, who works, didn’t wear pearls, and I don’t know about her answers but she raised my two sisters and they are great people, so her answers must have been good. I am a mom who works, will not wear pearls in the kitchen, and most of the time gives kitchen duties to my husband and daughter, and, I hope, have given my kids some of the right answers.
My adoptive mother was a beautiful woman. She looked like a movie star when she was young. She was really good with math (unlike me,) loved animals (we always had at least a parakeet in the house,) did the hard crossword puzzles — I mean, the really hard ones, always won at Scrabble, Gin, and so many other games. She fixed a great tuna noodle casserole and taught me right from wrong. I miss her.
My birth mother is a pistol. I am astounded at what she has told me of her life. She grew up with her brother and they had a hard life. Her varied jobs make me laugh; her courage makes awes me. I am so glad she wanted to find me when I wanted to find her. I am still getting to know her and with every conversation, I learn more and more. I love her for her courage, her sense of humor, and for my two sisters.
Mother’s Day used to mean brunch with Mom. Flowers. Candy. Maybe dinner. These days, Mother’s Day means various gifts: jewelry, cars, visits, hikes, anything Mom likes. Which is as it should be. It’s her day. My daughter and I exchanged Mother’s Day gifts early because she couldn’t wait for Sunday, although she gave me my best Mother’s Day gift years ago with the birth of her son. My husband gave me my Mother’s Day gift early — on Saturday — with a crawfish boil.
I love my children. My best gift is that they’ve grown into great adults who help others, who are their own people, and who are caring, loving individuals. That is my best gift. I hope that my mothers feel that I show the best of them. That I have learned from them and they are proud of me like I am proud of my kids.
To all those mothers out there — congratulation! You have had the most challenging job in the world. Astronaut? Bah. Brain surgeon? Easy. A mother is a day-to-day job. 24/7 with no paid vacations, no weekends off. You have to be teacher, doctor, psychiatrist, entertainment director, personal shopper, nutritionist, personal chef, baby sitter, and any other jobs you can think of. You have (or will, mwah ha ha) stayed up waiting while your teenager is out on dates, and watch at his or her football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, soccer, karate, band, plays, (insert time consuming but fun events here.) You will have been spat up on, cleaned up diarrhea, dealt with projectile vomiting, had to put your little darling in the shower to sober him or her up when they swore to you that they’d never drink, ever, and cried when they graduated from kindergarten.
Being a mother is a wonderful thing. Thank you all mothers for your love. We love you!