Saturday, May 08, 2010

Happy Mother's Day! A Tribute to My Mother

This is actually a repost from last year.  But last year, it was two weeks late.  So I guess this kind of makes it early... Or a year late..  No matter, it's still true this year.

 Adam has to be at church an hour and a half earlier than me because they are having a book discussion before church. Since we don't have classes in the morning, I take full advantage of my extra time at home since there would be no book discussing if my kids were there. Typically, the girls play nicely just until Adam leaves and soon after he makes his departure, the chaos begins.  I have a long held hunch that they spend their time while daddy is at home, quietly plotting how to push mom over the edge once dad leaves.  After a morning of harldy being seen,  Adam walks out the door,  and they appear right under my feet.

Anyway, I being the flip flop kind of girl that I am,  just love the fact that I can find a pair of flip flops with a little bit of a heal on them and some beads on the straps and call them dress shoes. So, on this particular day (Mother's Day), I put on my "dressy" flip flops and noticed that my toe nail polish was chipped on the ends. In my normal Sunday single mother rush, I ran into the bathroom and grabbed the nail polish and touched up the ends of my toes. Declaring it a decent job unless someone looks closely, I moved on to the mirror for makeup. About that time, Chloe, stepped on my toe.. My freshly painted toenail!

In typical, Sunday morning rush fashion, I felt the irritation rising inside me.   But, I repressed the irritation, in honor of the day, feeling the need to be a sweet, patient, mother, therefore earning the honor. And, I began to think about a particular Mother's Day with my mother....

 I was about seven years old. I had only a few dollars that I am assuming that I got from her in the first place. So I went to Family Dollar with my dad and I bought my mom the most beautiful I had ever seen- three dollar-Pepto Bismal pink- plastic set of beads. Both necklace and bracelet. (Nice job of guiding that one dad).

Now I'm pretty crafty at handling this type of situations with my children. My solution would be something of this sort: "Oh wow, these are the most beautiful beads that I have ever seen. I don't have a dress to match this color of pink but I have the perfect pajamas! So tomorrow night, we are going to have a candlelit mother daughter pajama dinner! And I am going to make all of our favorite foods and then we are going to talk about all things that we love about each other and I am going to wear these beautiful beads". Now, I have no doubt that this would work with Emma and she would think I was the coolest mother in the world for it.

But heres the thing... Twenty four years later (yes I did count on my fingers), I remember the dress that my mother pulled out of the closet saying that it would go perfectly with those beads. That dress was not pink. It was more of a rose color and it did not match those horrible beads.. And I remember how she ooohed and ahhed as she had me clasp that necklace around her neck. And when we got to church and I realized that all the other mothers had corsages and I hadn't gotten my mother one. My mother told me not to brag because the other mothers only got a flower and not beautiful beads that they could wear over and over again. And I sat there next to my mother not yet fully understanding why she was truly the best mother in world but, feeling confident that I was definitely the best daughter in the world. And you know what? When I called her this year on Sunday morning to wish her a Happy Mother's Day, and mentioned the beads, she told me that she still had them and she still thought they were beautiful. And when I really think about it,  I know that those sort of situations were probably, the most influential situations of my life. No matter how bad I fumble, my mom is always there, cheering me on, thinking I'm great. And I know that I will always have that security.

And so, there were all of those thoughts over a simple smudge in toenail polish. And inspired by my mother, I reached down and fluffed Chloe's hair and took a step in the direction of being the kind of mother mine was and wore my smudge to church.  And it was a wonderful day!