Saturday, May 9, 2009

Why it's a happy Mother's Day.

It's a sunny spring day in Seattle, and Andrew is in the kitchen working on a new cupcake project (they look like tiny hamburgers!!). We've spent our morning being ridiculously and wonderfully domestic, scrubbing our 730 square feet of home from top to bottom, folding laundry and leaving only to shop for food for the picnic dinner we're planning for Andrew's mother and step-father this evening. They're on a ferry right now, munching on popcorn and watching the city get bigger and bigger as they get closer to us. Andrew is the d.j. for our day, which means that Built to Spill is on the record player and he is singing/humming along. I'm not sure he's even conscious of it. This is one way that "happy" sounds, around here.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day, a holiday that can be a really hard one for people like me, mothers without children yet, women who long to be on the receiving end of the cards and flowers and ridiculous consumerist hoopla that goes along with this day. I have a lot of friends who are getting those gifts for the first time this year - who will be dressing their brand new bundles in tiny I ♥ my mommy t-shirts and reading sweet missives in their husbands or partners handwriting from their baby sons and daughters. I'll be spending my Mother's Day morning the same way I gladly spend each and every Sunday: with some of my favorite people, all of whom are other people's children. We will probably talk about their moms.

But I'll be thinking about my Mom. I can never hate Mother's Day, because I love to think about my mother. (Who does read this blog - Hi Mama!) To be honest, though, I don't need a special day to do it. I think about her all the time. This, to me, is the measure of a good mother - and mine is really, really good - that I cannot go a day without feeling the influence of her mothering in my life. I hear her when I talk to children, never using smaller words or a condescending tone. I see her when I look in the mirror in the mornings, going through my routine of tooth brushing and moisturizer. Not because we look very much alike - we don't - but because the motions I see myself make are the same as hers, I remember them from leaning against her vanity and watching her get ready, years and years ago. When I make grocery lists I see her handwriting in the way I make my Ys and Ns. When I pause and think before giving advice to a friend I hear her, too, pausing to think before responding to one of my childhood questions, of which I had many. All of which she took seriously, and answered as honestly as she could.

So don't feel bad for me this Mother's Day. I'm thinking about my mom, and hoping that I'll be as good at it as she is, when my long awaited turn finally does arrive.


  1. I have been following your blog for a couple months now. I keep meaning to tell you how great it is that you want to do an open adoption! When my cousin was 18 (we are 26 now), she had a daughter. My cousin, Amber, has muscular dystrophy. It is very mild right now, but will continue to worsen as she gets older. Our grandfather had it, and Amber's mother and younger brother do as well. When Kelsey (Amber's daughter) was born, Amber and her husband had been doing drugs. You can imagine the development and physical issues Kelsey had due to the MD and drug use. After a few short months, she was taken into foster care. This was a hard time for everyone but was definately better for Kelsey. She was adopted by a local woman who has turned out to be wonderful. Once a week they go out to dinner and she'll call and say, "We just may go eat tonight at McDonalds around 7ish if you may happen to go eat there as well." This allows Amber and her mom a chance to see Kelsey if they like. Kelsey is 7 years old and only in Kindergarten, but she's doing great. She doesn't know Amber is her mom, but does know her and I think that's great.

    I just wanted to share that story with you and again tell you that I think its wonderful what you and your husband are doing. God bless!

  2. What a wonderful thing - I think it's great that your cousin can be so close to her daughter and see her SO regularly.

    Thanks for sharing, and for reading.