Sunday, May 13, 2007

For What It's Worth

Happy Mother's Day and all that. I am going to a brunch at my sister's house today. Six of my seven siblings, and their kids, and my Mother will be there. My sister, the hostess, called me from the grocery yesterday, wondering where she could find goat cheese for her casserole, and should she get a third bottle of champagne for mimosas. Mmmmmmmm. I am already salivating.

As for this holiday, I am not sentimental about being, or having, a Mother. Mine was definitely the epitome of patience and long-suffering. Talk about the guilt complexes and anxiety attacks I'd get over not meeting with her approval... I used to be, and still can be, somewhat of a wild hair in the family.

I let my people off the hook as to buying me something, or feeling beholden in any way. It was in my nature to procreate. I am a caring nurturer from way back. I loved being pregnant and having babies.

I look back fondly on my times with the little people; nursing them, potty-training, teaching them to use their words, playing with them. Julia could play "library" all day - if I'd only join her in it. She loved to role-play. We'd take turns being the patron and the librarian. If you were the patron, you get the baby in the stroller also. I would yank her chain mercilessly in my roles. I had to be serious about the part I was playing or she'd get mad at me.

Aaron liked to make up stories and have me play them out with him too, only it was with trains. He was a "Thomas the Tank Engine" fan, between two and five years old -he amassed a collection of tracks, trains, freight cars, and an imagination to work out issues he saw in the Thomas and Friends segments. He was so adorable. He was also a Raffi fan. He had a little guitar when he was two and would play and sing along with Raffi.

We are at different, yet delightful, stages now. The kids are 12 and 14 years old. I speak with my mother every morning until after Aaron leaves for school. She likes to hear my send-off to him as he departs, "goodbye, Son. Have a great day. I love you." I practically sing it to him - desperate for him to fulfill the "have a great day" part. She finds it amusing. He is barely responsive to it.

I don't need a card, bouquet, breakfast in bed, or any other gift of appreciation for being a Mom. I find the job to be very rewarding - and almost involuntary. I had to have kids. I knew that from an early age. And I feel that way about my own Mother. She was just doing what she was programmed to do.

I am going to have to stop at Walgreen's on my way to the sister's this morning and pick up a little something for the guest of honor at brunch. The gesture will mean something to her, and therefore to me, and I'll lift my mimosa to toast the example she set for raising children so gracefully.

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