Friday, June 23, 2006

Mother's Day 05/14/2006

The last few years, I've sort of ignored Mother's Day & Father's Day. It was never really a great-big-fat-hairy-deal sort of thing when I was growing up anyway, although we usually went out to dinner or something as a family for MY parents (& still do). Yes, when I was very very small I remember it being a big deal where my Dad took me out hunting for just the right way to surprize Mom, but as I got older that fell by the wayside. It never occurred to me before, but now that I think about it, that was probably yet another symptom of something wrong as their relationship crumbled away.

After B was born, I did make an effort the first couple of years to help her in honoring her Father's Day obligations (and other holidays) for her dad... but except for one year, that was never reciprocated, & the further away he fell from our lives the less I felt I ought to be making that effort. I finally resolved that if & when she was old enough to want to do things herself, I would help her in what she wanted to accomplish, but I'm not going to initiate interest for her. Somehow it seems like a bad idea to teach her to run her heart & soul after someone who doesn't reciprocate!

So yeah, little resentment there. Hey.. I'm human! Anyway... so there's never really been anyone around to set any sort of example re: "honoring" Mom on Mother's Day in any way. My parents, of course, do their part, but they're a couple hours away. That's very very nice, & someday she will remember that. But little kids need a much more immediate example for anything to penetrate at this age.

So the holiday approaches with it's standard (for me) lackadaisical who-really-gives-a-damn-and-do-I-need-to-find-time-to-work-in-the-P's-this-weekend flair. (Sometimes they go visit the OTHER kids in the family... so I can't just assume it's me doing either the travelling or the greeting.) It's lookin' pretty clear. Phone calls should do the trick, I might actually have a weekend of R&R! (As opposed to all the FUN we've been having lately -- yeah, it's been fun, but it's definitely not been R&R! lol)

Sometimes people say things or do things for you that touch you so deeply that there really is no reaction you can give that really represent how you feel. Yeah, sure you can say thank you, and do... but there is that very deep, very profound place in your soul where a simple thank you just does not suffice. Jumping up & down & cheering would be far too trivial. A smile is pleasant & not enough. A hug is nice but doesn't begin to cover it. Tears come close, but they do have a tendency to make people worry;) It's taken me several weeks to write about this -- this time, not because I did not have the time, but because I could not begin to find words. I have decided that these words, however trivial, will have to do.

This year on Mother's Day, I was remembered. Someone gathered B up into the gaggle of children & did what most Dads I know do with kids when one of those holidays come around: they not only remembered... but helped her in some small personal way to remember, honor, celebrate the things that Mom does. A funny little lamp now sits on my desk in some strange, painful-looking yoga pose, and I was given a very sweet card which will soon find its way into my 'forever' memoirs. The card only has B's signature on it in her 6-year-old spidery crawl. But there are other very different names there too... not written in pen&ink, although I see them very clearly. They are there as assuredly & indelibly as the ripples this Mother's Day created in the deepest, most silent & private part of myself. And I see more detail: the names there are written in the handwriting of the adult who led the way, who drove the car, who did the reading, and the buying, and the wrapping, who helped make the choices, not only of what to do & what to get... but how to be excited about doing something nice for someone else - who chose to include us & remember me as one of their own. If it seemed at all that my thank-you's that morning were blase... please know that sometimes what you can see fails utterly to represent that which sits in my heart.

You're a Gift to Our Family

You have a unique talent
for getting the most out of life,
then so graciously giving it back.
Your gentle humor and warm caring
give so much enjoyment
to everyone around you
especially to our lucky family.
Happy Mother's Day.


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