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Archive for the ‘Stages of Mothers Day’ Category

Mother’s Day really does not live up to its hype. I think it contains all the emotions one can experience in a year, all in one day. And, if Mother’s Day is all about Mama Getting Some Love – well, then Mother’s Day becomes a huge disappointment. Mother’s Day always smacked a bit of, ‘On the count of three, show me adoration” kind of mentality. And men or boys do NOT like being forced to jump through hoops. They like just doing it on their own without society “nagging” them into action. Mother’s Day is one tough gig!

Mother’s Day, like every other mother’s day during the year, is about giving – giving some love to your mama, giving some love to his mama, and, I have found, if you give love to your children, then the day does not disappoint.

Mamas throw the Celebration Parties.  Mamas pick each Christmas gift with detailed care to compliment a child’s spirit. Mamas just think that way.

There are Mother’s Day Stages:

  • The Love and Hugs Stage: The little guys, still think about Mother’s Day with a little help from their teachers. And, they just think that way – all love and hugs. They wrote me chapter book stories.
  • The Mommy Love Repellant Stage: My Joyful son, laughed and said he would have befriended me on Facebook if he’d thought about it.  And my faithful son, he picked up Hardees biscuits and a Starbucks coffee for me Sunday morning, spurred on the errand by his thoughtful dad. Admitting their mom is. . . mamarific? Not on your life.
  • Thoughtfulness Emerging Stage:  My oldest son sent me flowers. He’s the one who also encouraged the other boys to buy me a chess set a few years ago while he was still in college.  Thoughtfulness starts emerging after high school.
  • The Mother Tween Stage: That’s where I am.  I am a mother to my children and I have a mother and mother-in-law. Balancing motherhood and being a good, attentive daughter to someone who helped build you or your spouse into who you are today can be difficult when everyone’s mother lives out-of-town. This year, we moved to my husband’s hometown. It can be a little dicey – whose church do you go to?  Whose favorite restaurant do you go to? And that’s where the heart comes in.  That’s when love comes in. Even on Mother’s Day, mother’s think of someone else.
  • The Butterfly Stage: This is the grandmother stage.  All your children are raised.  Those grown children do not recall the sound of a raised voice, irritation, or even the general within that little granny lady.  She is all gentleness, all compassion, butterscotch and homemade rolls. She’s birthday cards with a money gift, or maybe a silver dollar gift to the ring bearer at a special granddaughter’s wedding.  She’s homemade gingerbread house decorating parties at Christmas and painting kitchen stools in tole designs, not because she likes them, but because the one she loves does. Like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon is the mother who emerges after raising her children, puts the wooden spoon away because she just does not need it any more.  The toughness is not needed any more.  The general within is put on commission (though do not doubt it can be called up again) – and all the good things, the compassion, the gentleness take center stage, like a beautiful butterfly.

But before a good mother can be a Butterfly, she must be willing to be a general. The advertisements about Mother’s Day make me feel inadequate. Like mothers need help feeling inadequate –  I fail so often – and each one of those boys signing the cards know it. Apparently, I have caused a few holes to be punched into a few walls.  Mothers often enforce decisions that make their children mad.  And no amount of people skills, negotiation techniques or diplomacy can avert conflict.  The children just do not appreciate those tough stances yet – and will not for quite a while. So, probably in their hearts – mom is just not the mom always talked about in those flowery cards or from the pulpit. 

On Mother’s Day, I heard a sermon about the gentleness and compassion of mothers. I remember those days – and I still have them with my little guys.  However, when those tween to teen to man years come, gentleness and compassion do not always get the job done. There are days you put on the armor of toughness. You cannot let them see you sweat or quake with fear. They cannot know your heart is just breaking because you do not want to be so tough. However, within every great mother is a tough mother. One of the best lines my sister-in-law taught me in reply to when your child accuses, “You are mean.” The reply?  “I can be meaner.”  Priceless! Except, moms never want to be meaner.

No, motherhood is not always pretty. And Mother’s Day makes me feel like such a cheat – because motherhood is not all flowers, gentleness and compassion.  Sometimes motherhood isn’t even liking, though always loving. But despite all the challenges of Mothers Day, a few moments shined through.

My boys made me laugh – and after so much struggle and sorrow this year, laughter was the best gift of all.

“Where are we eating today?” I asked on the way to Nanny’s church.

“McDonald’s – the dollar menu has everything anyone could want.  Plus it’s cheap,” my Joyful son said.

“O’Charley’s,” chorused the two little guys.

“Really?” I asked, “After our last two meals there?”

“Well, we got to eat for free – so that’s always a good choice,” the Joyful one added.  The service and meals were so horrendous the last two times, we literally ate free.  When you order a prime rib and it comes out looking like a steak with scarred blisters, and it took you 45 minutes to get it – that restaurant definitely comes off the top 3 list.

“But I still love their soup,” a little guy bemoaned.

At Nanny’s church, the children’s minister called the children up to the front for a sermon.  My two little guys went up front with their cousin.  My joyful son leaned over, “Big mistake, Mom, letting them go.”

“What does your mom like to do?”  the minister  asked.

“Make surprises,” one boy answered.

My littlest guy raised his hand, “My mom likes to sleep,” he answered, smiling broadly.

“Told you – you shouldn’t have let them go up there,” the Joyful son, smiling a little wickedly.

“What special things do you do with your mom?” the children’s minister asked.

My other little guy, a little bigger, raised his hand, eager to share, “My mom likes to take me to Starbucks.”

I was torn between laughing and wanting to slide down in my seat.

“See, I told ya.  You should have never let them go up there,” my Joyful guy reminded.

And my big guy, not the oldest, but definitely the tallest (6 ft. 5 in.), he added his gift later. He knew someone at my very favorite restaurant who sat us right away, so we did not have a big wait.

I guess the most wonderful gift I had during my Mother’s Day was seeing my boys shine in their own ways.  Not in gifty, presenty ways. Just in ways where they asserted who they were: One giving flowers, two giving stories and saucy answers, one making me laugh, one giving us the best seat in the restaurant. I think that’s what Mothers Day is really about – and amazingly, those are every day things.  I  hope your mothery moments were blessed moments on Mother’s Day.  And here’s to recovering from its stress until next Mother’s Day!

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