the mutha' hood.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

i love this day.
MY day.
a mother's day.
where i allow myself not to feel frustration, guilt, anger, annoyance.
but only joy, peace, most importantly, 
for this amazing life of mine, the life i always wanted.
the life i dreamed of,
and now have.
mini-vans, diapers, playdates, those damn-ugly-ass crocs and the MILLIONS of things in between,
that define this life of being a mom.
although, from what i understand, it is a hallmark-manufactured holiday,
i have fully embraced it as such and then claimed it as MINE.
mine, all mine.
the one FULL day, other than my birthday, where (aside from giving lots of thanks,)
i embrace the gifts, the recognition, the praise.
a day in my life,
where i'm the center of my childrens' universe,
because i know someday i won't be.
and i accept the crayola-clad cards made with love 
and all the creativity a six-year-old can summon up.
and it's beautiful.  and i cherish these gifts as if they were diamond earrings 
or a day at the spa.
the flowers. . .my favorite wild and mixed with star-gazer lillies, 
which i could sit and inhale like a kid who's just discovered permanent markers.
and the chocolate, of course.
that's a prerequisite for this day.
oh yes, i have big, fat prerequisites for mothers' day.
more on those in a minute. 
{yes, i polished 3. . .4 off, before breakfast.  shut up.  it's MY day.}
so, back to those pre-rec's.
brian and i have hit a point in our marriage, where we fully understand and BELIEVE, 
and setting expectations, especially on days like this.
that's us, always keeping it real.
so we're both getting what we need, finding joy and happiness 
in this stressful life between careers and parenting and not enough sleep
and house projects and illness.
it saves us a lot of heartache.
so i layed out my requirements for the day for brian,
not beautifully packaged, wrapped in a bow, but in my usual style,
"ok.  here's the deal. . .
or in his hilarious words, "what do you want for mother's day, wife?"
(this is his impression of me and so many other women. . .)
"oh!  just surprise me, honey!  you know, i don't need anything.  just surprise me (with all the things in my head you should know i want and expect!  go!")
yeah, that doesn't work.
so, here's the deal. . .
a breakfast of brian's awesomely fluffy, homemade blueberry pancakes. 
add full tummies to that.
maybe some hugs between pancake-flipping.
and yes, of ALL days to go to church to give thanks,
we opted out.
making the coziness of our kitchen, 
wrapped in the smells of sizzling sausage, syrupy fingers and happy babies,
our church for today.
(sorry, GOD.  i owe you one.)
and the biggest and best gift i could gift,
(aside from not lifting a damn finger; i.e.  NO diaper changing, putting down for naps, dishwasher-unloading, laundry-switching. . .oh yeah, i get spoiled.)
this is my day to 'check out.'
my last request?
that i get to have pictures taken with my babies,
without ANY complaints, rolling of eyes, or sticking the camera in the air and randomly snapping at nothing or only at my boobs or my butt.
a REAL and focused photo session, so i can have SOME pictures of ME with the kids.
brian came through on all fronts.
{some moments clearly staged, as i wanted things captured that i do for my babies, other than yell at them, but don't normally have someone there to witness it.}
and despite all of these expecations and self-centeredness,
don't think the normal, beautiful in-between moments of joy and gratitude
are lost on me this day.
walking by my daughters' room.
MY daughter.  (oh my, i have a DAUGHTER.  that concept STILL seems unbelievable.)
but being aware and present enough to notice,
how morning sunlight lights up our little beautys' room,
and all the love and care that has gone in to making it JUST right for her.
and her, well.
i don't need to say much.
other than she IS true and natural beauty,
in the eyes of this mother.
who is flawless and perfect, just as she is (gracie, not me.)
sunlight lighting up every baby hair on her already tan little arms.
and tuna.
my baby.
although all boy,
trucks and cars and wrestling and throwing sand and hitting,
loves to dress up in gracies' princess dresses and walk around in mommy's
cork platforms.
where the appreciation and sweet moments continue,
where our photo session moves to the bathroom (one of my fave places to shoot.  wierd.  i know.  but the lighting and brightness and moments are awesome and real.)

a place where i exert my power over my little people every morning before school,
primping and pinching,
like a momma tiger with her cubs.
known to lick the palm of her hand to smooth down hair gone awry and comb over MY way, 
the old-man way, across the forehead.
{you thought i'd like spikes and mohawks, huh?  not so.  i like traditional and june cleaver.} 
{gracie is mocking me, i think.}
and the pictures that i NEED, as proof.  that i AM their mother.
that despite my monday through sunday, 24 hour-a-day-job-for-ever,
that i CAN pull myself together, shower, wear make-up and put on a dress (with cork platforms, no less. which i don't think my feet have seen since 1996.)
{jack thinks this is bullsh**.  so does daddy.  tuna's happy because he was promised chocolate if he smiles for mommy.}
 brian's doing a good job, eh?
{just ignore the bra hanging out of the dress.  nice.  that's what i get for thinking i can branch out of my usual sweatpants and hoodies and wear something 'lady-like.'
i was going to photoshop it out, but it's mother's day.  i don't have to.}
my angel.  my golden child.
now, time to swing.
and tuna can't swing on this yet,
so he pushes.
he's a beast.
oh yes, yes i did.
{not without editing out the vericose veins on that right leg though.  no one needs to see that.}
honey, this is the closest i'll ever come to 'swingin'.
{tuna's like, 'ugh.  if i just put my hand on jack's thigh and pose for this, i'll get my chocolate.  you jerks.}
 {that's gracie's. . .scary face.}
{and yes, i know.  a lot of navy blue here today.  that's my favorite color.  as well as army green.  and the stripes.  too many stripes.}
we wrap up our photo session.  but not before i can capture some of tuna,
with his light saber, fighting a tree.
and as if this day couldn't be any better,
after much solitude (to write this, actually.  my doting husband took the kids to the gym so i could have quiet,)
i stole away for a few hours in the rain, perusing the little boutiques of our sweet little town,
hitting up all the hidden gems i've always wanted to go in to.
and i did.
and it was lovely.
and although summer beckons,
i look forward to fall and winter days, where i can wall up with the babes i love,
next to the fireplace, 
in my mommys' scowl. . .i mean, cowl, i bought for myself on clearance.
(closely resembling the 'afghan girl' from national geographic.  she's much more beautiful.)
all shopping and doting and presents aside, 
what is mother's day,
although maybe a 'made-up' holiday,
but a GENIUS idea.
a GREAT reminder to honor OUR own mothers.
the people, i believe, that make this world go round.
who spend their LIVES, well past 18,
supporting us, loving us, encouraging, us, holding us,
pushing us to be better, try harder
but cushioning our fall, when we do.
this tireless, thankless, frightening job, 
that makes presidents, soldiers, teachers,
mothers, wives, sisters,
the women that have a huge hand in who we are, who we become.
to my own mother, 
for whom flowers and gift cards will NEVER be enough to thank her for all she's sacrificed and given to me,
to my sisters,
never-ending thanks and 
for doing all she could for us, to make us better, stronger, wiser.
giving us the space, the freedom,
to figure things out and find our own way,
but always there, when we needed her most.
which has in turn, helped make ME, the mother i am today.
and although i admit here, weekly, that i'm far from perfect,
that i'm doing my best, just like my mom did.
and forever grateful for this role, as a mother.

{p.s. although it was technically 'mothers' day,' it is also a day, in my life,
where brian carries the weight of BOTH roles and shines through.  continuing to prove to be nothing shy of amazing.  to the most wonderful human being i know, thank you, honey, for everything.}


Sarah Joanis said...

Not made up holiday, woman! We have Julia Ward Howe and her Mother's Day Proclamation of 1870 to thank for having our day to celebrate love and family. My favorite part of her proclamation was, "Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause." Holla! She knew back then too...

So, maybe Hallmark commercialized it, but this woman crusaded for us. Happy Mother's Day...sounds like you had a beautiful day. Xoxop

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