I am midway through life and mothering. Thus far, I have survived everything from dealing with colic and projectile vomiting to acne and prepubescent mood swings. Two daughters have emerged from our well-loved and worn home with four-year degrees and employment in medicine and education and a third will graduate this weekend in business. This single mom has also nurtured five international students, countless “strays” both human and furry, and has survived being a tennis mom, Girl Scout Leader and chaperone with the daunting task of keeping teens with escalating hormones four inches apart on the dance floor. This Mother’s Day, I have decided that I am finally going to celebrate the day—my way.
The Early Days
Don’t get me wrong, I have had many enjoyable, memorable Mother’s Days. As a new mom, I somehow was passed, more like thrown, the torch of continuing on with the traditional Mother’s Day annual brunch. Nothing is as relaxing as balancing a teething toddler on one hip while simultaneously cooking, playing Legos and trying to keep a pooch with NBA-like jumping skills off the buffet table.
When my children were elementary school age, the family decided to give eating out a try. Although less work in the kitchen, this option still had its challenges. You never know how brave you are until you attempt to put a dress, tights and “sparkle shoes” on a stubborn young lady who prefers Duke basketball attire, keep your kids seated while their cousins sprint around the table and stifle your child’s creativity by forbidding her to make a snowman sculpture out of mashed potatoes.
Teens, Glorious Teens
I am amazed to say that I loved the teen years. These were the years of making Mom breakfast in bed and thankfully the making of homemade cards and heartfelt sentiments was still in full swing. Of course, even though my children’s cooking skills advanced, their aversion to cleaning up remained constant.
Now that my children are in their twenties, I decided to have a true Mom’s Day and relax. I was going to take a bath but found that the last inhabitant in the tub was our puppy who decided to make it easier for our international students to visit home by digging to China. I also discovered my special occasion wine glass currently had a razor soaking in it and our couch once again looked like a clown car stuffed with bodies watching ‘Game of Thrones’. So much for vino and binge watching ‘The Good Wife’.
It then hit me. Soon, my sink won’t be full of dishes, I won’t be wishing that dryer lint was a valued commodity and maybe, just maybe, I will find a pair of matching socks in this house. Every messy, unpredictable, chaotic, crazy, laugh-out-loud moment with this crew that I am blessed to call me Mom has been not only my day but my glorious life—and I’m going to enjoy every precious moment of it.
Mary Helen Darah is an award-winning columnist who has appeared in numerous publications in the Toledo area and beyond. Her column, The Mother of Mayhem, publishes on ProMedica HealthConnect the first of each month.