A Mother's Work is Never Done
WSG 65 Mother's Day Thoughts 2023
Happy Mother’s Day!
Since I qualified 21 years ago, this year was almost the first with no kids in the house for mother’s day. But, it turns out one little cub will be here, maybe two! The other(s) return a few days later and you know what that means…..a reCrapping-of-the-house! In case you are new to the concept, here is the post from a year ago on the subject. It’s the gift that keeps giving even if you don’t want it. Oh what fun. I’ll definitely be covering that event for you here, so be sure to tune in and tell your friends.
Treat your mom to Women’s Survival Guide!
But, let’s talk about mother’s day. As I sit here at command central, hot coffee to my left, needy little dog to my right, I give a contented exhale. Try it. Deep inhale. Long exhale. It is cleansing. It’s Spring. It’s gorgeous. And, if you don’t read the paper or listen to the news, things are pretty great.
This Mother’s Day is different for me. It’s less a mother’s day weekend than a batten down the hatches, prepare for impact kind of a weekend. As noted, the kids have been away. I kept meaning to go into their rooms and sift through the piles of clothing accumulated by three girls, that didn’t make the cut to go with them to school. But, I didn’t gather the courage to attack the piles until this week. Ok, yesterday. A shame, really, because this is also the week before our neighborhood garden tour and I am on it.
My garden has been left to fester for several years (like the kids’ rooms). You’d think Covid might have been the time to really have fun with the process of turning my brick and stone space into a Secret Garden-like place. But, it wasn’t, and I didn’t. I nurtured the hell out of the terrace off our kitchen. That space is bathed in sunlight and has a sectional and umbrellas and is near food. It has containers with perennials that I jazz up with some zippy annuals. We use the space a lot. It’s the den-off-the-kitchen-we-don’t-have-inside space. But the lower garden is a beast. Stained blue stone, ratty looking shade beds, weeds. For the past week I’ve been at it each day, but it still looks like hell. A local Gardner planted one of the beds, and it looks great, but there are two other beds to go, and that’s on me. This weekend is my last shot at recruiting help from family and neighbors (I’ve recruited my mother, husband and next door neighbors) to get this unkempt city spectacle into shape. And today is the last day to get the kids’ rooms raked out. I feel like Sisyphus.
Please, remember to duck if you say “A mother’s work is never done” near me.
I’m sounding whiny. It’s true. And no, I don’t have to clean out the kids’ rooms. They are technically adults and can clean their own messy rooms. But, and here I am circling back to Mother’s Day, isn’t it so nice to come home to a clean room? Fresh sheets, dusted, vacuumed, folded, good-smelling-room-at-home? Yes, please. To clean up their rooms and make it nice for when they come home is a mom thing to do. It’s not really a choice. I am not in control of my actions. And, yes, you’re right, it’s Mother’s Day, not Kid’s Day. But, see, that’s the hitch. It’s always kids’ day. I can’t help myself, and you probably can’t either.
As far as stages of life, we are in a sweet spot right now. The kids are in college and have built in breaks when they can come home. That’s not going to happen when they graduate and get jobs with two week’s vacation and don't live in the same state. Though, this post covid world with not working in an office, creates differing scenarios. But, in general, we are living not too differently than when they were in high school, vacation wise. My point, if I want to make their space in our home nicer for them so they might want to come home even when they have less time to do so, then yup! That’s what I’m doing.
Did your mom do unspoken gestures for you that took you years to recognize? Maybe her version of a sweet gesture was different than the norm, like “wow, mom got toilet paper this week!” But, still, it’s memorable and thoughtful.The truth is we probably didn’t notice many things our moms did for us. We were too busy trying to take flight. Did she leave you notes of encouragement? Make sure your favorite food was in the house? Pay for your shrink? Book your ticket?
What memories of an appreciated kindness by your mom or grandmother do you have? Please share, click below…
Here is a cute one from my grandmother: every time I went to see her in florida she had a fancy little plate with smoked salmon and capers and little toasts covered with Saran Wrap with a fancy little fork and spreader knife to the side waiting for me. Every time. I would usually arrive pretty late when I was older, so she was asleep. But there it was, a little “welcome” fancy snack on the kitchen counter. Everything about it said “Millicent Was Here.” A small, consistent gesture that meant a lot to me.
In general, moms, like my mom, step mom, and mother in law, do so much so often it’s hard to come up with one act of thoughtfulness. Is it helping me get the thing I want that’s just for me? A purse, or skin care? Making slip covers? Wallpapering, traveling, cooking, hosting, pet caring, babysitting, spirit lifting, flower planting, listening, weeding, advising, nursing (to health), explaining, exemplifying, and so much more. Or, taking the time to put in my deck irrigation system (herself) so my plants won’t die, thank you, Mom. Or, showing up with my favorite, hard to find candies (pastel chocolate lentils), thank you, Julie. Or making me the decoupage Kleenex holders in my house, which I love, thank you, Deicy. I am lucky, indeed.
Momming older kids is a surprise in that it’s more involved than I had predicted and a lot more interesting and fun than I’d have guessed. We can help. We have lived a life. We know things. And they do listen. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a bit. It’s gratifying to be present for our kids and help them launch. So, here’s to Mother’s Day and all you people out there who have loved their moms, are a mom, a step mom, a special aunt…
With all my heart, Happy Mother’s Day.
Next week! Pel’s Picks!! I promise…
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