On Mothers Day, again a vivid reminder that women are not the only significant caregivers to small children. Two years ago, my youngest son became the responsible parent for my granddaughter after his wife, the mother of their four-year old, died in an accident. I thought of him on Mothers Day. And I thought about my granddaughter and the kindergarten class that would be making cards for their mothers. Was it hard this year?
On Mothers Day my ex-daughter in law from my oldest son's second marriage called, making me happy. They have been apart about four years. At the break-up, I promoted her to daughter, but couldn’t expect to continue in a mother role as she has her own wonderful family. I wondered if maybe this would be the year she moved on. But no, and we arranged to meet later this month. And I will meet the man she is seeing. I love that our relationship continues to matter, and I can share in the life of this special woman.
On Mothers Day my second son who lives in the Philippines called with affection and reassurance that his son, Elison (named for me) arrived from San Francisco safely for a vacation and all was well. All is well, even for one day is good news, especially when it comes from so far away that a mother couldn't easily rush over and fix anything broken or wounded.
On Mothers Day morning’s Starbucks stop, with Foxibeau on his leash, I giggled with Joanna, the barista, as she shared pictures of her baby son who can roll over and who smiles all the time. She is such a proud mother, though sometimes too tired to be at the store by 4 a.m. I remember weariness and childcare issues and offer equanimity to the world and others waiting for a 5 a.m. opening. My habit of walking the dog around the Fillmore Center while drinking a double short soy latte before 6 a.m. isn't all the world is about. But on this Mothers Day, she was there, a proud and happy mother.
On Mothers Day a friend had a party to celebrate women and their mothers. About 20 of us would speak about our mothers. I wrote a poem but didn’t read it because when we paused to eat, I grew restless and went home. I did stay long enough to hear six or seven women speak of their mothers, mostly with fondness, occasionally with bitterness and grief. Some had written poems; others told stories. Corky, my special friend with three sons about the same age as mine always tells good stories about her mother, Nettie. Nettie's recipe for chocolate “Dream Bars” became part of Corky’s families’ must-have treats. Corky brought some, and I ate three before going home.
Here is the poem to my mother that I didn’t read on Mothers Day. I call it “To My Mother With Gratitude.”
I’ll bet my mother never knew
what she did or didn’t do
to make me who I am today.
Nobody special in any way
except for a sitting practice
and strong urges toward discovery
of how to live, let live, and then let go.
I read it to Corky and I believe she was relieved to hear I had moved on from recrimination and regret. Indeed, who would I be without my mother-wound! Recovery and discovery do seem healthy and worthwhile pastimes. Indeed, all of my family seem thus engaged.