My mother came to visit. This was a big deal because these days we live five thousand kilometres apart and I hadn’t seen her since I was home last year when my dad died. We email and video-chat fairly regularly, but that isn’t the same. It isn’t face-to-face. She came at the end of September and stayed with us for a month. When I told friends about this visit, they paused, then asked rather deliberately how it “actually” was. A whole month with your mother in your house?
At this time of year, we’re supposed to sing the praises of our dear, sainted Mothers, who are one part June Cleaver, one part Marge Simpson, one part Julie Andrews and a healthy dollop of St. Mary.
Okay, full disclosure. Being an introvert, and given some of my psychological hang-ups, making friends hasn’t been my best life skill.
My hands are becoming my mother’s hands, or at least my childhood memory of them.
This Mother’s Day I will thank the Lord for the mothers in my life, young and old, across the generations. I’ll thank him for the gift of being a mother and grandmother myself, for the special bond of mothers and children, and for the fact that the joy of motherhood, in all its glory, just never gets old.
I’m starting to think it’s possible that I have a strong-willed child. The term has been rattling around in my head for a while now, planted by several “challenging” weeks we’ve had since September. Things will be moving happily along, me and my little blonde buddy, and then, bam! Some kind of switch flips and we have a truly awful, push-me-to-the-brink, marriage-threatening, sanity-threatening, hang-my-head-at-bedtime kind of day.
As a rule, I am not much of a cry-er. There have been times I wished I could squeeze out a few drops, even just for effect, but it doesn’t typically happen. Then, a few weeks ago, my emotions and tear ducts conspired to make an unwanted exception.
“Peonies can’t open without the ants,” my mother-in-law said. “See how they’re moving across the surface of the blossom? They’re opening it so that it can bloom.”
When I started writing this column on parenting and family, I was eight months pregnant with my first baby. Being pretty green in the parenting role, I worried that I’d find enough to write about.
I want God to be a greater reality for me than death.