A Look Back At The True Gifts Of Mother's Day
Updated On: May 20 2011 12:42:46 PM EDT
I'm back after a Mother's Day hiatus. There seems to be the idea that on this one special day out of the year, mothers have the green light to take a break.
WHAT? Take a break from mothering? That's an oxymoron if I've ever heard one! The two just CANNOT coexist in the same universe, because once you have taken on the ultimate responsibility for another human being, through birth, adoption or some other divine choice, it's like purchasing a one way ticket to a land where you are forever "on".
I was certainly "on" on Mother's Day. Let's face it, if moms don't plan ahead, there very well could be no Mother's Day celebration.
I woke up with target time of noon. That was the time we were to leave our house with my three boys handsomely dressed, a gift for Nana wrapped and in tow, and three kites ready to be flown. We had planned to meet my mother for a 12:30 p.m. brunch seating at a restaurant of her choosing.
Even though I'm a mom of four boys, I am also a daughter. So, I wanted to spend time with my mom. Remember now, this is MY day for peace and relaxation. But, any time there's a target time to leave the house, there potential for stress and strain.
I am a planner.
Is that because I have three boys, 9 and under, or is that some of my type "A", personality rearing it's structured head? Probably a bit of both. I had plaaaanned to lay out the boys clothes the night before this noon target time could have ever become a looming and pressing deadline. However, I think I felt some Mother's Day entitlement the night before, so I called it an early night and waited until the next morning.
With a closet full of clothing, how dressing my boys presents such a scurry and last minute rush for the iron, never fails to amaze me. I dressed baby 4-year-old baby Noah and left freshly pressed clothes for 7-year-old Nicholas and 9-year-old Nigel. Those two boys are clearly capable of following simple instructions, evidenced by their all "A" report cards. I dressed and went downstairs. I was ready to be greeted by my crisply dressed boys ready to go! Instead, I found Nicholas wearing sneakers and ready to throw his dress shoes out the window. Nigel decided to take the initiative and bypass the clothing I toiled over and he chose his own casual wear, complete with wrinkles and gym shoes. On the inside I thought: at least we are all together. On the outside: I gave one last stern voice of correction and marched them to the car. Whew!!! I was already making plans to spend the next Mother's Day at hotel room somewhere private, quiet and sane!
We managed to arrive in a timely fashion, thank goodness, so I could forgo my mom's raised eyebrow. We were good until Nigel stepped one gym-shoe-wearing-foot out of the vehicle. Nana's Mother's Day had taken a turn for the worse. How could he walk into the Roberts Hotel with sneakers on on Mother's Day? I massaged the subject and directed our attention to the sunny day and the fact that he was just a 9-year-old boy expressing himself.
We made our way into the restaurant and were seated at a picture-perfect table with a view of the Detroit River. There were smiles all around. Moms in the room know what's behind those smiles though, they know the Herculean effort required to make family moments work. My boys sat nicely (gift), ate well (gift) and lit up when they presented Nana and I with our handmade gifts (gift). When the boys had had enough and the dessert table was no longer interesting, my mom took them for a stroll along the river while I finished my coffee (gift). From there, we were off to fly the one-dollar kites I bought for just this occasion.
Belle Isle was the perfect backdrop for making memories on this Mother's Day. It was all my boys' first time flying kites. Nigel got his kite up and flying high first. While I struggled to untangle Nicholas and Noah's kite lines, a man dressed in his white, Sunday finest, complete with a boiler hat, walked up and said, "Nope, that's not right. You have to put the line on the other side".
Our group effort got all the boys' kites up and painting the blue skies. My heart became full at that moment - watching my boys be in THEIR moments. I guess for span of time, I was "off." I was letting all the results of all the work and planning unfold and take flight. For me, there could have been no better Mother's Day. There were no fancy gifts - just the raw demands of parenting, the sheer delight of helping my boys learn and accomplish something new. There were proud moments when I sneaked a peek watching them navigate table manners around the buffet line with grace, and seeing a pleasing glance from my mom, (their Nana) saying my grandsons are my raison d'etre and my daughter is getting it right (well mostly right). All of those moments combine were and are my GIFTS!
Could I have asked for anything more this Mother's Day? No. Plus, the dollar for each kite was the best $3 I've spent in a long time. Making memories and spending wisely, a mom's mantra.
That brings me to another thing ...we?ll talk about that next time.
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