Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mother's Day reflections - a week late

Yes, yes, I do realize that Mother's Day was actually LAST Sunday - however, we had quite the busy day celebrating all the special mom's in our  life. 
It started off with a delicious breakfast, cooked by my husband.  But that is a regular occurrence on the weekends because he's just that nice.  As usual, he also had a beautiful corsage ready for me to wear to church.  Such a sweet tradition that his own dad started and the first year I received on when I was a mom-to-be...I cried. 
After church we went to Red Lobster with my mom's side of the family because it's a favorite of my grandmother.  Ha.  Well, Charlie liked the cheddar biscuits (I mean who wouldn't), but didn't like the whole sitting down thing. 

Needless to say - he was not on his best behavior.  But that's everyday life, right?
My poor mom was REALLY sick though and didn't get to come enjoy a meal with the family.  Poor thing.  She spent the afternoon in the ER actually - doing better now, but just had a killer virus!
The best mother's day present?  A LONG nap during Charlie's nap.  It was heaven.  I am going to do it again this Sunday too...
After naps, it was off to Grana and Pops to celebrate with the Carter's.  And boy did we have fun.  It was beautiful outside - so we had lots of fun time playing with cousins, dancing and
 just running around (of course, this was all what Charlie did.  I attempted to sit there and relax and Jimmy drank beer). 
Charlie even helped carry the cooler to the car when the day ended.

So as you can see, while it as a "holiday", it really was just a normal day.  Which was actually pretty amazing. I spent lots of the day just staring at Charlie (in a non-creepy, mom way).  Thinking about how much my life has changed in the last 2 years.  But really about how much heart has changed and how this love that I feel for him is just so unreal.  At times it is just overwhelming to me because I just love him so much and cannot imagine something bad happening to him.  I want to keep him in this bubble to ensure that it doesn't - but know that is not what he needs from me or practical.  It amazes me that as a mom I rarely think twice about how different my life is.  That we rarely go out to dinner, rarely go out at night and really just sit at home playing with Charlie.  But that fulfills me. 
Everything changes as a mom.  And I'm so blessed to be one and cannot wait for this sweet girl to make me a mom X 2.  I'm sure there is a whole other craziness that comes to that.
But I'm also thankful for the love of all the mom's in our lives and the sacrifices that they made to help me grow as a woman and become the mom I am.  Thinking about my mom when she and my dad were raising my sister and I and how there were probably so many good times and bad and sacrifices and fun times - I'm thankful for all those.  And I'm thankful for the love that she has shown to me and now shows to Charlie.  And I'm thankful for Sue, Jimmy's mom.  Oh man - raising FIVE boys.  I cannot imagine.  But it's so fun to see how it's really all worth it when the Carter family is all together.  Five great boys and five great families.  What a blessing and even with all the sacrifices she and Red made, I'm thankful for being a part of their family and that my kids get to experience their love and support...and it makes me want a big family.
So enough reflections from me.  I saw this again on facebook on Mother's Day and just love it.  It makes me tear up every time I read it because it's just so true.  And worth every single bit of it.
With that, happy mother's day EVERYDAY to all those mommas out there.  You deserve a huge hug and pat on the back for all you do and all the love you give!
To mothers, daughters, aunts, grandmothers & girlfriends
I wanted to share this again this Mother's Day:

We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family."

"We're taking a survey," she says half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral. "I know...," she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations..."

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.

I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, "What if that had been MY child?" That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a soufflé or her best crystal without a moment's hesitation.

I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every Ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that every day decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's at McDonald's will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.

However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother. Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give it up in moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years-not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor. My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks.

I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child.

I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop War, prejudice and drunk driving.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts.

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. "You'll never regret it," I finally say.

Then I reached across the table, squeezed my daughter's hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings.

This blessed gift...that of being a Mother.
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