Happy Mother’s Day to my mother, my mother-in-law, and my two sisters. I love and admire each of you. I don’t know about you guys, but I never get what I really want for Mother’s Day – an entire day to myself at a resort spa where I can have my hair and nails done, get a massage from some buff guy named Fernando, and lay around half-naked by the pool eating chocolate truffles. Just kidding… about the half-naked part, nobody wants to see that. But a homemade card with lots of glitter and a breakfast of crunchy scrambled eggs is an awesome gift, too.
To My Mother, Patsy:
Mom, I know I’ve probably asked you this before, but how the heck did you do it? How did you raise four kids, with not a lot of money, to grow up to be normal, well-adjusted adults? When I say “normal” I mean non-criminal, law-abiding, non drug-using, non-alcoholic, college-degreed individuals. I’d call that some pretty successful parenting, and you should be very proud of that.
I know you didn’t have the kind of parenting yourself that you should have had, and therefore, your role models were down right crappy, to say the least. But you didn’t let that stop you from being a wonderful mother and role model yourself. I know that raising all four of us Hellions was not all roses, picnics and Hallmark cards. OK, truthfully, I was the Hellion because I was stupid enough to get caught doing everything from sneaking out at night, dating all the wrong boys, and basically lying a lot. Deanna and Gary flew under the radar. Oh, they were doing all those things, too, but they just were smarter than me about hiding it. Karen, I’m sure, was a joy to raise because she was basically an angel, and not at all a hell-raising rulebreaker like me.
At one point in your life, you had 3 teenagers and a toddler. You and Dad must have thought about packing your bags in the middle of the night and moving to Tahiti. I know I think about doing that all the time, and I only have to raise TWO teenagers with a non drug-doing and non-criminal goal in mind. Way to go, Mom. You are a way better mother than me. I love you.
To My Mother-in-Law, Helen:
You are an inspiration. Have I ever told you much I admire you? You raised three rambunctious boys with grace, dignity and poise and you never lost your sense of humor or your sanity. You used to tell me hair-raising stories about David when he was a teenager that make my teenagers look like nuns. By the time Paul, my husband, came along, you could relax a little bit because the worst thing he ever did was get caught with his ear to the wall at the Bay Plaza Theater “listening” to the movie “The Exorcist” which he was strictly forbidden to watch. My favorite thing that I learned about parenting from you is that you did not take CRAP from anyone, especially your kids, but you did it in a sweet and kind way. You are the most generous and giving person I know. Early in our marriage, I remember you and I were sitting at your breakfast table discussing our shared disappointments about infertility, and I remember thinking that, if you and I had been in the same generation, we would have been best friends. You are a way better mother than me. I love you, Freemaw.
To My Sister, Deanna:
Dee, you are the strongest, bravest and most like a Super Hero mom I know. Your unique challenge of raising a special needs kid, against impossible odds, with grace and humor, is awe-inspiring to say the least. We have cried so many tears over that kid, we could fill an entire river. You are also raising a teen and a kindergartener at the same time. You have to deal with a lifetime of medical issues, surgeries, insurance paperwork hell, mental disabilities, and don’t forget the super-fun challenge of “adult-sized” diapers. And you do it all while maintaining a daily fitness regimen that makes you look like a twenty-year-old. Your challenges would make much weaker pansies like me buckle under the pressure. But none of the that has managed to diminish your hilarious and positive personality. If anyone should be writing a humor blog, it should be you. Sometimes we have to laugh just to keep from crying, so that’s exactly what we do. The adventures of Joseph, Kaylie and, especially Brandon, could fill an entire book. You truly have super mom powers and you are the one that deserves a vacation to Tahiti. You are a way better mother than me. I love you.
To My Sister, Karen:
You have four very small children to chase around each day, most of whom are still little babies. Karen, how do you keep your sanity? Speaking of diapers, you must be up to your armpits in them! Even though we don’t talk much, since you are a million miles from Texas now, I think about you all the time. I had the challenge, I mean privilege, of being a stay-at-home mom like you for seven years when my girls were babies, and before I had to go back to work. I remember thinking, with just two babies, that I was going to die from exhaustion, lack of sleep, and lack of adult interaction. I kept imagining that it would be so much better when they got bigger. Guess what? I would go back to those years when they were babies in a heartbeat if I could. I didn’t even realize that they were the best years of my life.
So I think about you all the time and I hope you realize that these are the best years of your life. I know that you guys don’t have much in the realm of material possessions, but you have what matters most, adorable children, a strong marriage and God who always works in your favor. I wish you were here in Texas with the rest of us so we could share in all the things that little children entertain us with: funny things they say, crazy things they do, snotty noses, drawing on walls and bedtimes stories. The strength it takes to get up every day and home-school and wrangle those little ones, and still maintain your sanity, is truly awe-inspiring. You must have had a great teacher. Oh yeah, you did… OUR MOM. You are a way better mother than me. I love you.
Happy Mother’s day to everyone!