Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mothers' Day

Although I tell her that I love her everyday, I rarely take the opportunity to tell my mom what a fabulous mother - and woman - she is. Well, today, being Mother's Day, I though I should take this very public forum to let the world know that I have one of the best mothers in the world. I truly do. I'm not blowing sunshine up anyone's behind here or angling for an inheritance. My mother is amazing.

So, what to say about the woman who raised me on her own, made me the center of her entire universe for many years, and to this day,
continues to take my phone calls about what to wear and what to say to intimidating people? This, the lady who taught me that friendships with other women are one of life’s great pleasures, and is, outside of SRH, one of the few people I can tolerate on a daily basis.

I feel moved to poetry.

I don’t like to brag,
And I don’t like to boast.
But my mother, Patty R., is better than most!
She had me at twenty,
When she had less than plenty,

And as mother and daughter, we are close.

Okay, that’s a little too Dr. Seuss-y for my taste. Poetry is out.

How about an open letter?

Dearest Mother,

You are the greatest mother ever. I so value your love and wisdom. I can only hope to be as good a mother to Zane as you were to me. Speaking of your parenting, how did you ever get me to go to sleep at night? No really, cause I’m struggling with Zane. He will NOT go to sleep. Doesn’t fight going to bed. Just won’t go to sleep. It’s infuriating – Scott and I are lying down with him for like an hour a night before he goes to sleep. I know you aren’t a proponent of the “cry it out” method, since the one time you tried it with me, I chewed up my crib and you had to come in to take all the splinters out of my mouth. What should I do? Am I ever going to have a life when I say, Good night Zane. Mama will see you in the morning?

Okay, see, the letter just becomes all about me and my needs. Very narcissistic. Not very Mother’s Day ode-like.

New plan. I’m going to interview my mom about some of her experiences as a mother and share her answers with the world. That way everyone else will get a moment with my wonderful mother – all this because she taught me to share when I was little. (Surprisingly enough, for a woman who can ramble on about flowers for days at a time, my mom was not all that loquacious with her answers, so I had to augment her words with my opinion thrown in at the end).

Question 1: How long did it take you to consider yourself a “real” mother, since you didn’t have a real labor? I mean you were in labor for like 2 hours, pushed twice and had a baby. What does that prepare you for?

Mom: I had a heck of a pregnancy. I DESERVED a good labor. Plus, don’t forget, I went so fast I got no painkillers at all.

(Mom is clearly going for the sympathy angle of I-was -20- and- pregnant-and-your-father- was-a-bastard. I’m not buying it.)

Question 2: What surprised you most about being a mother?

Mom: The instant love. How very instantaneous my love was for you. I knew I would love you, but I didn’t know it would be like that.

Me: And you still feel like that, don’t you? It’s true. I have this picture of you looking at me the day after Zane was born. You are looking at me like I’m the most precious thing in the world. You’ll never get over that will you?

Mom: Nope.

(While I totally get this now that I’m a parent, I still do the adolescent Stop Looking At Me! phrase when I catch her mother-gazing at me).

Question 3: What do you know now that you wish you had known then?

Mom: That having a kid that isn’t perfect isn’t a reflection of me as a parent.

Me: Huh, are you saying that I’m not perfect? I mean, I know I'm not perfect, but I didn't think you knew it.

Mom: I’m saying that if you weren’t perfectly dressed or your hair wasn’t perfectly combed or your face wasn’t perfectly clean, it didn’t mean that I wasn’t a good mother. I wanted you to be perfect at all times.

Me: So, you don’t believe I’m perfect? All that mother-gazing is a G.D. lie?

(This earns me a reproving look from my mother, who decides her best course of action is to be quiet at this point).

Question 4: What are you most proud of as a mom – and don’t say that crap about how you are so proud of how I turned out. You have to be, don’t you? I mean, if I didn’t turn out well, it’s kind of an indictment of your parenting.

Mom: I’m most proud that I have a daughter that is a very caring and loving person and a loving mother in her own right. I wish you were a little kinder to me, though…

(We laughed a lot about that last one. One of my favorite things about my
mom is her sense of humor).

So, there's a little bit of my mom. I thought you might like to hear a little bit from her. But don't get attached. You can't keep her. She's MY mom.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom! I adore you.

(Mom and I both give that mother-gaze to our boy, Zane, shortly after he was born).


Mom said...

Well, the poetry does prove the point about you not being perfect, doesn't it?

You made it easy to be a loving mom. Still do, most days.

Believe me, your life will go easier if you realize early that Zane's accomplishments are his own, not a reflection of you. That way you don't have to feel guilty when he messes up. It evens out and is best for both of you.

Thanks for making me cry at work this morning. I love you.

Lsig said...

Awwww. Happy Mother's Day to both of you!

SRH said...

Sure, I make your Mom cry at work in the morning, and she is all, "Don't do that to my cat... Stop using the scissors that way... blah blah blah weep weep weep."

You make hjer cry and she is all "Thanks..."

Clear favoritism

Zany Mama said...

mom -
Thanks for the advice. I love you too.

lsig -
This post just illustrates for me that I have no idea how I come across. I didn't think the post was all that sweet. Mom cried. You said, "awww". Heck, maybe I really am cute and just haven't a clue how I'm perceived by others.

Yes, clear favoritism. There's a history there, though, that you may not know about. As a child, I used to make my mom swear that I would ALWAYS be her FAVORITE person in the whole world. Even if she had another kid. Even if she got married. Therefore, I've been working on her for a lot of years to get this kind of favoritism. You've only been in our family 11 years. You're going to have to work harder to push me out of first place. Well, actually second now that Zane is around.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure that when she was gazing at you in the hospital bed she wasn't thinking about her hands around your scrawny, stick-like neck, smiling because you were already in the hospital to be revived should she give in to temptation???

"I.C. Yellow" Snow

Anonymous said...

BTW, I need a measurement for that scrawny, stick-like neck to make sure any ornamentation I might produce would fit exactly the way you'd prefer. SRH mentioned you were a little concerned with our previous measurements...

"I.C. Yellow"

tanabanana said...

Well I can only say the best time to tell your mom how great she is is when she can hear you say it. From great mothers come great daughters.

Zany Mama said...

i.c. yellow snow-
You might be onto something there. She is looking at me lovingly with a hint of malevolence...

Also, anytime you want to take me to lunch so that you can get the measurements to make a necklace for me, just let me know. :)

Egads, woman, I miss working with you! I'm thinking of you and your mama.

zingerzapper said...

I think she is looking at you being very thankful that you have such a pea head. Imagine if Zane had Scott's "Supernoggin?" I'm sure thse was thinking, "man, I bet I could still palm that little pea head."

I think she should also be most proud about how you pick such amazing friends. This is definitely a reflection of her (or how easily your spirit is broken and you give up and give in.

love ya

Zany Mama said...

zingerzapper -
My head is bigger than a pea. It's not the size of a melon, but it certainly caused some pain as it entered the world. Wait, I think this is going somewhere I don't want it to go...

My mother has no taste. So even though she likes you, it means nothing.