How To Thank Your Mother
Iron Shirts, Hem Pants, Book Hotel for Boston, 2 x Important Phone Calls, Get Passport Photo, Repair Chip in Windshield, Make Supper, Go To Dr’s Appt with Daughter, Go To Couples Appt w/Hubby, Go for a Run, Day 5 of my Second 30 Day Squat Challenge, Apply for Raffle Permit for Daughters Choir Committee, Change Christmas (yes, still from Christmas) Living Room Frame, Send my Dad a Birthday Card (which turned into a Birthday Email when I could not print some photos I wanted to send), and….BLOG….
This is a list of things I made for myself to do today….my first day off in about a month, where I actually stayed around home! I am not complaining. It has been a great privilege to gallivant, to and fro about the earth….with hubby….with girlfriends…..with my children, but I also enjoy spending days at home….although it is more pleasant when the list is not quite as long!
Most of my list was accomplished….by some small miracle….however, since these tasks were shamefully overdue and the reason I succumbed to making a list, seems prudent to just change the title to ‘THIS WEEK’ and maybe go to bed on time tonight, after picking up daughter from soccer practice…..wish me luck!
Speaking of Weeks….it is Week 27 and 28 of Gratitude….AND we just celebrated Mother’s Day. I have many questions out of my journaling this week, so please, indulge this first one without too much introduction.
If you could go back in time and thank anyone in the world for something they did, who would it be?
Mine would have to be Abraham Lincoln, for abolishing slavery in the USA. Whatever his true motivations were, it was the unpopular and right thing to do. A close second would be that darling Mother Theresa, for her willingness to use God’s strength and love, to care for the sick and forgotten. A strange third place goes to my Elementary School Principal, Mr. L., because my life would not be the same without a specific piece of advice I received from him, after being sent repeatedly to his office in Grade 3 for getting into scraps with the boys. GRRRR…..I was an angry 8 year old!
He said, “The only time you need to fight, is when you are backed into a corner and there is no other option.” Thank you for that, kind Sir, and your patience in saying it. I used this advice often during my colorful past, sometimes in order to survive, sometimes to escape, and sometimes to pick out a good retreat….AND it made me a nicer person. So, to all you teachers out there, wondering where your sage advice to students ends up….in a blog, about 40 years later!
But, no retreating for Finding 52! Onward to the second phase of my mission….of becoming my best self, having my best life, and honoring the gal who brought me into existence….my dear Mum.
My title this week, ‘How To Thank Your Mother’, aligns with the BIG reveal I promised months ago, but could not divulge, as it was not my story….but I can tell you now….
I am going to be a Grandmother! Holy crackers and cheese…..
This decision was not met with glorious thanksgiving or joyous chords of acceptance. I wish I could say it was an expected expecting, but alas, it was not. Instead, I heard this news with stout ears and a steady heart, reminding myself of the many times I told my children, there is nothing you cannot talk to me about, nothing. And this was something!
As I searched my young adult-child’s face for a clue of how to feel about this dropped emotional bomb, I realized I was sitting in the seat my mum was waiting to be in before she died. This is it! I have now reached her standard of what a fulfilled life would require. A Grandkid on the way….
Do I feel ready? No.
Is it even about me? No.
Do I feel the need to immediately dye my hair? YES!
For a few weeks after, I asked random people I talked to at work, at soccer practice, at women’s brunch: ‘What would be the worst news you could get from your daughter?”
Everybody, except one, said, being pregnant. Really? That is the worst?? I mean, it is a harmless, little, eensy, teensy, bay-bee-y! Babies are super cute and cuddly, give unconditional love, enter your heart with a one way ticket and give insurmountable giggle rewards, why not have a whole batch of them?
With 4 of my own biological beings and 1 extra bonus of a being, one might argue, I did have a batch….which only means, I know how challenging kids can be, too. This is why my reaction was not instant elation. Stuff had to be processed. What was the plan, what are the needs, what options need exploring….what, what, what???
Now, to paint the whole picture, you have to understand….there are a few ‘A’ type personalities in my house. Ambiguity is not easy to manage. WE like to decide, declare, and do, around here. The last thing we want to hear is, ‘Let’s wait and see.’ YIKES! How about now? Do ya know yet….no? What about now? ? Ri-iiight now…..not yet, okay….and now???
My bottom line while tottering on this scale of decision was, preserve relationships at all costs. Without a doubt, I want my ‘baby’ to know, her actions do not control my love. She is accepted and fiercely loved. I will fight and defend her every honor with all that I have. My loyalty never runs away, never quits and never dies, even if I am dead. Anything can be overcome, we just need to stay connected.
I am certainly not perfect when executing this plan, especially when disagreements arise over logistics, but that does not stop me from getting up each day, wading into the muck, and uncomfortably finding a place to breathe, while I listen to those who need to speak. I am not backed into a corner with this….there is no fight, here. There is only a launching pad of possibility.
I do not know what lies ahead for this new life that is coming, no predictions of what outcome will ultimately form. I do know, I am the controller of how easy this inevitable transition becomes. I can really lean into my best discovered parenting advice now….
Our children are not ours. They belong to life. Life calls them into being. Hold them….love them…..give them all you can, and then….let them go. Thank time. Thank life. You were part of the miracle.
This is how we thank our mothers. We acknowledge their sacrifice in holding on to us like crazy, then finding the grace and balance, to lovingly let us go. It takes a colossal lady to land that transition expertly. I am betting I will need a couple more swings at this before I truly get the hang of this life changer.
But, I am Grateful for my chance to hold and….to let go.