May 9, 2018
Mother’s Day is coming up, this Sunday—that’s just 4 days away. To those of you who have a mother, or a wife who’s a mother, or even an adult child who’s a mother, this is your official “head’s up”. Use it wisely.
There are many times through the year when I miss my own mother. She died when I was just 21, at a time in my life when I was going through challenges that made me really want my mother. I don’t think that’s a wish that ever goes away, do you? Our relationship wasn’t perfect, because neither of us was perfect. It was what it was.
She never ever would admit to having made a mistake. In her mind, that would be a weakness, not a strength. For my part, I was guilty of sometimes tuning her out, simply because she was my mother. I guess we can file that under typical human behavior.
Do you know where I see remnants of her today? In my daughter. Jenny possesses many of my mother’s traits. As well, she’s in a medical-related career. My mother was a registered nurse. Jenny recently told me she was born without the “emotion” gene. She bases this belief on the fact that some of the things other people “feel”, the things they get upset about or excited about, she just doesn’t get. Now, I’ve seen her in action and I’d dispute her self-analysis, but it is true she doesn’t like to show her emotions, and that is very much like my mom. I can get away with giving her a hug, sometimes. Anyone else? She puts up both hands and says, “personal space.” She’s not my mother, of course, she’s my daughter and her own woman. I think she sells herself short, but I’ve learned there’s only so much you can tell a grown-up child. “Grown up” is such a subjective concept, isn’t it?
Mothers Day, historically for me at any rate, was and remains a day for the giving of flowers, or plants. I mostly gave my mother plants, that she could then transplant into one of her four flower beds. One time, the three of us—my brother, my sister, and myself—got together and bought her 2 flowering crab apple trees, which she planted in front of the house—one in each of 2 round gardens.
Those trees, which would have been gifted in the early 1970's, were still in existence until about a year or so ago, when the current owner of that property finally took them out. In his defense, I believe they were failing at the time.
I have always told my children that I didn’t need gifts—a card was good enough, and a homemade one was even better. That wasn’t only something I said to spare their tender hearts, it was how I really felt.
These days, of course, they’re adults, and I can’t say that I’m as overly concerned about their tender hearts as I was when they were small. I’m not above giving a kick in the ass when one is warranted, though those times have been few, indeed. I’d like to see my son more often than a handful of times a year. When they had young children and were shepherding them to sports and clubs and other extra-school activities, I completely understood. Now that their kids are all adults? Not so much.
Regardless, I love them as much now as I did when they were little, and enjoy them more, when we’re together, because the stress of parenting is absent.
As for the girls—my daughter, my second daughter, and my daughter-in-law—I have a Mother’s Day tradition that I’ve observed for the last several years.
Our local grocery store has a small garden center, and in advance of every Mother’s Day, there are miniature rose bushes for sale. I always buy three, as well as a card for each of the girls. And yes, I get my son something on Father’s Day, too.
All three of the girls appreciate these roses. I know this, because they’ve, all three of them, planted them in their gardens. Each of them now has several miniature rose bushes that bloom each year.
Now if only I knew why roses no longer smell like roses. I have no real clue, but I wonder if it has to do with some kind of genetic modification. But that’s a topic for another day.
To all the mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers out there – I hope you have a very happy and family-filled Mother’s Day!
And a very special Happy Mother’s Day to my newest granddaughter, Nathalie who, with my oldest grandson Nick last night welcomed to the world their first son and my third great-grandchild, Noah.