Saturday, May 8, 2010

Making Peace

It used to be that Mother's Day had a certain power over me. And let's just say it wasn't pretty. I used it as some sort of yardstick to measure my mothering against, and year after year I kept coming up short.

One year was particularly awful, and I left church sobbing - a horrible, sniffling mess. I walked home to find all the doors locked. Of course. I sat on the back deck wishing the earth would swallow me up so I would never have to face another miserable Mother's Day.

I don't know what happened, when it changed for me. Wait, yes I do. It was four Mother's Days ago after I'd gone through cancer treatment and been separated from Ellie for 6 weeks when she was just an infant.

And just like that, I realized Mother's Day wasn't about me. It's about them.

And this is where words fail me. I mean, I still feel that on most days my mothering probably comes up short against that imaginary measuring stick, but I am grateful for every day I have the opportunity to try.

Because what if it had turned out differently? What if I didn't have them? What if the cancer had won? What if I had been hit by a bus? No not really, but you get the idea.

There are definitely still days that try a mother's soul (and that witching hour right before dinner time, of course), but mostly I've made a conscious decision to enjoy the ride.

I am still here, and I have these five wonderfully distinct personalities to love and learn from, so I'm going to. I'm really going to. Yardstick be damned.


M-Cat said...

Oh my goodness- you have no idea how this post spoke to me. I've been mulling my own around in my head for a few days, because I generally hate this day.

Love your words. Love you.

Happy Mothers day

Elizabeth-W said...

Lovely post.
Lovely picture to accompany it. Never seen it before. I need that on my fridge! :)

Kristina P. said...

This was beautiful. Mother's Day is hard for me for different reasons. Obviously, I'm not a mom, but my relationship with my own mom is very strained. She is very difficult to have a relationship with. It sucks, but I still love her.

Kalli Ko said...

yay you, and yay moms in general!

Kimberly said...

I'm in love with that picture almost as much as I'm in love with your words and the way they resonate with me. Yardstick be damned indeed!

c-dub said...

great post. thanks!

Omgirl said...

You have such a good attitude. I'm trying to mimic that without having to go through cancer or some other tragedy. It's hard! It really is hard to cherish and savor each day and not let your frustration win out. Thanks for reminding me (again) to try harder.

tiburon said...

You are a rockstar. And I understand exactly what you are saying. This Mother's Day was pretty good because it was a homecoming. But there are years that it gets to me too.

Great perspective!

Anonymous said...

What a great change of attitude. I haven't ever had a hard time with Mother's Day, but there are plenty of other sticks I'm trying to learn to stop beating myself with.

And yes, that time we have with our kids is so worth treasuring, even if we spend a lot of it learning by trial and error.

kado! said...

those words were put together so wonderfully.

tawna6988 said...

Your post made me think a lot. I tend to think this way sometimes too. I have been trying to change my attitude as well and it has been hard with all the fnncial hardships we have had over the past2 years. Thanks for sharing your story about it, I defintely need an attitude adjustmnt myself and am working on it. Thanks

Emma J said...

Such a lot of wisdom. In one phrase you put it exactly: "it's about them." And that picture is priceless. Who? and where?