You want to know what Mother’s Day is?

First what its not.,It is not the day dreamed up by Hallmark or some such capitalist that wants to make a buck making people feel guilty about not hanging out with their moms enough.  It is not a Jane Seymour designed piece of jewelry that daddy can’t REALLY afford, but feels he has to buy.  Its not even breakfast in bed, consisting of overbrowned  toast, buttercups from the yard and tepid orange juice — served up by preschoolers and their tween siblings…

 

No, Mother’s Day is so much more.  Mother’s Day is seeing the car lights shining on the yard five minutes before curfew.  Mother’s Day is seeing your granddaughter hand her daddy a Captain America Doll that she bought him for his 31st. birthday, holding your grandson’s hand as he walks across the street.  Mother’s Day is hearing ” Hola, what’s up” when your youngest calls.  Mother’s Day is following behind your oldest as she pulls her two babies in a wagon, and having her turn to you and say , “mom, Ive waited to be able to do this, put my kids in  a wagon and pull them through the flower market…”  Mother’s Day is watching them handed their college Diploma — and seeing those smiles.  Holding them steady as they labor with the birth of their own children, sitting down at a restaurant and watching them enjoy a meal.  Mother’s Day is the look your husband gives you when he watches you with your grandchild, or with a gift you’ve just made one of your children.  Mother’s Day is wiping fevered foreheads, wrapping sprained ankles, hooking up the nebulizer.  Mother’s Day is every moment that you are blessed enough to have your child with you, either in your arms, or just in your heart when they are miles away. 

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fortune cookie

So, after yesterday’s post lamenting oldest daughter’s materialism, I ordered Chinese food today — the fortune cookie read “Your principles mean more t o you than any money or success”.  Man, you can’t make this stuff up!

different as the day is long

Oldest daughter posed an interesting question today.  If one was offered $600,000 a year salary, but it meant that you would have to move across the country ( coast to coast) and raise your family away from friends and grandparents and family rituals and the like, would it be worth the cost.  She said, hands down, she’d do it.  You can make anything work for a couple years.  With that salary you could fly the family out 5 times a year ( hhmm, hugging the grandbabies 5 times a year???)  You could save enough money in 2 or 3 years to pay for college for the now toddlers….

I however, with the years of raising a family way behind me, and the years of grandparenting in full swing, beg to differ.  Ive never been given the opportunity to make that kind of money, so I cant say for sure, but I think, I really believe, that I couldn’t, wouldn’t do it.  In our tech savvy, get on a plane and go society, moving across the country may not seem a big deal, but when you think about the day to day, or week to week, interactions between family, friends, grandchildren, cousins….I don’t think its worth the cost.  There is nothing like family, even a slightly dysfunctional family — cousins and aunts and uncles who dote over you, people with the same last name , the same grandmom….

And then there is the question of, does anyone really need that kind of money?  And what does that kind of money do to you, to children?  I haven’t met a lot of people in those tax brackets that I look up to, or envy, or respect.  (I haven’t met a lot of those people, period, but those I have I am not real fond of). 

Fortunately I will not have to answer this question in my lifetime, but she may.  And I worry that she might…

May Day

We all waited, with baited breath, for sixth grade.  In sixth grade you were part of the “Laugh-In” board in the Spring Revue.  You were chosen to go Christmas Caroling, arriving at school at 5:00 AM, bundled up for the cold, and walk to the three nearby neighborhoods ( including mine) to sing  Carols to all of the early risers, most of them waiting anxiously at the window because the Stanton Elementary Christmas Carol Sing was well known in our town.  They handed out cookies and candy canes and the sixth grade chorus then walked back to school, arriving by 7:30 or so and had hot cocoa that the lunch ladies had come in early to prepare.  In sixth grade you were able to walk up the hill to “look at” the Junior High School that you would be attending next year.  Sixth grade was the best, the top of the crop, success! 

But it all paled in comparison to the hoopla that surrounded the fifth grade as they prepared for May Day.  You see, in fifth grade all the girls and boys fretted all year about whether they would be picked to dance the May Pole.  Now, in reality, we all knew who would be picked.  The “in” kids, the prettiest girls and coolest boys — and as early as fourth grade we all began planning how we would make it into that clique. 

I still remember my dress, the lavender ribbon that I had been chosen to weave into the intricate pole . I remember my bff Terry standing three girls ahead, and Danny standing tough and proud in the boys inner circle.  We practiced that maypole dance for weeks.  They put old ugly cotton streamers on the pole for practice, and we wove in and out, in and out, dancing with the music, until we figured out the rhythm of the routine.  Every recess for the whole month of April was spent dancing the Maypole.  The actual day was bigger than high school graduation as far as we were concerned…the Pole was bedecked in pastel ribbons that had magically appeared the night before.  The music speakers were positioned just right, the principal was in his best suit, we looked like candidates for  “toddlers and tiaras” and we danced.  We DANCED.  The crowd ( and there was a CROWD, parents, big sisters, grandparents….) clapped and “woo hoo”ed  as we finished, crunched tightly against the pole, exhilarant in our success.   Punch and cookies followed.  Pictures by the pole.  And then math class.  It was over.  No more practice, no more weaving….

Ah, but sixth grade was waiting….