Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

Every year I look forward to Mother's Day, it's like a bonus "birthday day", and every Mother's Day I have high expectations. This is my day after all, I work hard the other 364 days of the year, I should be able to have one day when I don't have to involve myself in all the "yucky bits" about being a mother. My husband and daughter should lavish me with gifts and praise, and I shouldn't have to lift a finger - can I have an "Amen"?

Frankly, I have yet to experience a Mother's Day quiet like the one I described above (well, maybe the first one, Abby was much more complacent when she was two and a half months old). Don't get me wrong, Jason certainly did wonderful things for me. He told me to go back to bed when Abby got up at 5:30 this morning, he then went and did the grocery shopping and picked up a coffee for me on the way home. After that he made a lovely breakfast (that unfortunately didn't sound good to my queasy tummy), and then kept Abby busy while I putzed around with my sewing machine. He next drove us all to my mom's where we had a nice dinner and a lovely visit with my aunt and uncle, my mom, and Nana and Papa, before he chauffeured us back home. The "problem" of the day certainly had nothing to do with Jason. Any struggles I had today came from the one person who allows me to celebrate this day in the first place - Abby.

Now, all weekend she's been off, but today I really started to become concerned that her demanding and argumentative behavior is more than just a bad night's sleep, her still recovering from sickness, a phase, or any of the other fifteen excuses I've made. I really began mulling this over as we drove home from my mom's. See Abby decided that she didn't want to sit in her booster seat, and since it is very easy for her to get out of it she did. Despite the fact that I was in the back seat with her, I couldn't get her back in her seat. That's when Jason followed through with the threat that fathers have been giving since time began - he pulled the car over. Now, Dada putting her back in her seat and telling her "that is enough!" was enough for her to understand there would be no more messing around for the rest of the trip. There were tears (Abby's) and a few choice words (Mom and Dad's), but otherwise it was a pretty quiet trip home. It gave me plenty of time to think.

I'm sorry to say my first thought was a pretty selfish one - Well, this was a great Mother's Day, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized how silly it was for me to think that Mother's Day is a day "off" in the first place. How do you take a "day off" from something that you are? Once you are a mother you never stop being one, no matter what day it is.

Was my day really ruined? No! In fact, I had a very nice day. I got a great card from Abby (that happened to play "You're Some Kind of Wonderful" and that she didn't want to give me because she was too busy dancing with it when Jason gave it to her to sign), I got a lovely storybook that Abby made at school that talked about our family - with original illustrations. I got a face full of kisses as we were getting ready to leave this afternoon, and after Abby looked up at me and told me I had a nice face. I got to spend the day with two of the most wonderful mothers there are, and to hear Abby say, "Surprise - Mother's Day!" as we handed them their cards. There were even some moments in the car that were special. Once the storm had passed Abby turned her teary eyes to mine and sweetly apologized, and when I told her she needed to listen to Mommy and Daddy, and do what we tell her she said, "Okay, Mama" in her raspy voice. She then grabbed my arm and cuddled with me the rest of the way home, only to fall asleep on my shoulder about five minutes before we got here.

It is always helpful when Abby ends a difficult day sweetly, which she does nine out of ten times, but that's not to say Jason and I won't be discussing her behavior and ways in which she can learn what we expect of her. So, you could say my day ran the gamut today, one minute sweet and another sour - from being Abby's hero to being her nemesis - from being what filled her heart, to what broke it, all of which are parts of what it means to be a mother. In other words, on this Mother's Day I was fully and completely a mother - and you know what? I couldn't ask for anything else - "yucky bits" and all.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you courageous souls out there!

Since I didn't get any good pictures of Abby today, I thought I would show one from my first Mother's Day, May 8th 2005. Here's Abby in the arms of one spectacular mom - Grandma K. She had such a special place in her heart for Abby, and I think Abby knew that - do you see her winking at Grandma? I love this picture!

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