As I reflect back on Mother’s Day, it occurs to me that I’ve been in the mothering business for thirty-four years. My daughter was born in 1979, and my son turns twenty-five this month. For thirty-four years, I’ve been working this gig, singing this tune, fighting the good fight, and loving it. Challenging? Yep. Frustrating? Sometimes. Overwhelming? More often than I’d care to admit. Best job in the world? You bet!
Before the kids got grown and gone, I’d wake up on Mother’s Day to the sounds of pans banging in the kitchen as my kids prepared breakfast. After breakfast came the hugs, the candy, the gifts, and the proclamation that I was to put my feet up and take it easy for the entire day. Of course, the day never turned out that way.
Just as I’d get comfy in the recliner, I’d hear, “I can’t find the cinnamon, Mom.”
“Middle shelf, left side, cabinet by the stove,” I’d say.
“Don’t see it. Are you sure?”
I get out of the chair, go to the middle shelf, left-hand cabinet by the stove, push the jar of bay leaves to the side, grab the illusive jar of cinnamon and hand it to my child.
“Thanks, Mom” is followed by a kiss on the cheek and a hug. “Now go sit down, Mom. This is your day to relax.”
With a cup of coffee in one hand and the Sunday paper in the other, I sink back into the recliner.
“Mom, can I wash my new red pullover with my basketball jersey?” my son asks.
“Only if you want your white jersey to turn pink,” I explain.
“If I wash them on cold, it’ll be okay. Right?”
“Wrong.” I’m out of the chair again. I put down the paper that will never be read and set down the coffee, which will be reheated in the microwave at least twice before I finally give up and pour it down the sink. I grab the pullover and head downstairs to the laundry room. After I get the wash going, I get another kiss on the cheek, another hug, and another reassurance that it’s my special day. They mean well. They really do want me to “take it easy” and enjoy my Mother’s Day.
The truth is that after all of these years, the mothering instinct is too ingrained in my DNA to allow myself to enjoy lounging around while my family works. Whether the “kids” are four or eighty-four, it doesn’t matter. Once you are implanted with that mothering instinct gene, you’ve got it for life. But that’s not so bad because every now and then, they will admit (grudgingly) that Momma really does know best ……at least some of the time.
Thanks for stopping by.