09 May 2014

Mother’s Day Gratitude

As Mother’s Day approaches, I pause to think about the fact that being my son’s mother remains the most treasured experience of my life. I don’t care about being honored. I feel honored and blessed to see his smile, to laugh at his jokes and to straighten his bow tie for a special dance. The best days as a Mom fill me with serenity and contentment much like an idyllic, beachy, breezy day spent relaxing in a hammock, savoring the sweet smell of honeysuckle, while the music of a nearby waterfall massages my worries away. In contrast, the worst days bring to mind the memory of 6 angry wasps attacking my ankle, my attempt to escape thwarted by 2 pulled hamstrings. YIKES!!  

 Often times, my son and I sit in a room together surrounded by technology, but prefer to discuss the day’s events to the exclusion of all else, mute and off buttons become an unspoken act of immediacy and priority.  Those moments rate as some of the most precious. Every day punctuated with a hug and “I love you” as the sun rises and sets. In retrospect, the mistakes made that led to the late night trips to the store for poster board or the need to grab a mop and broom to clean-up after a nasty gastrointestinal virus—all a chance to step up for him which I vow, like all good parents, will be my honor and his birthright. So many people believe that a child adopted from a third world country should feel lucky. Some do and some don’t, not knowing anything more than the here and now. It doesn’t matter because gratitude reigns in our home even on the most challenging of days, a collective deep breath taken and the push ahead made together.  

Motherhood reminds me of sports—triumphs celebrated, failures examined As and rapid rebounding back into the game. When my son graduates college and returns home to visit, my Iron Woman win will be complete as a happy, independent, intelligent, fully-forged moral person takes his place in the world. 

          Speaking of sports, on a final note, not being a girly-girl but more of a tomboy, my prowess as a nurturing parent became a source of controversy, but I silenced all doubters as easily as steel establishes its connectivity to a magnet. I owe the transitional ease to advice. Torn yet ready to martyr myself for the family good, I talked to friends about selling my beloved horse. The best advice I received as new mother changed my course—“You can’t fill anyone else’s cup until you fill your own.” And so I kept my horse and continued to ride, an homage to my days as a high school student. My husband, of 28 years, told me without a doubt that my “Kelly” time made me a better Mom and a better wife. 

          On this special day, I send all mothers a message. Please find time to enrich your life with an activity—art, running or writing—that harkens back to the days when your seventeen year old self ruled her world with swagger and an unshakable grasp of fun.