Notes From The Front

So, Mother’s Day.  Yeah.

For a while, this wasn’t just any day.  This was MY day.  I was THE MAMA, and I was going to get to sit on my ass and eat bon bons if I damn well wanted to, and I was going to sleep in and choose the restaurant and…
And for some reason, this year, I was completely taken by surprise.  The little kids started whispering about what they’d made in school and I was puzzled to realize that they had made something for me.  Mate asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day, and I said, “I thought I was getting a tattoo.”  He said, “I thought I was getting you a vacuum cleaner–but you can get the tattoo if you want.”  
Chicken keeps threatening to make me a stuffed animal– something I always treasure when she makes them, and I feel bad that they end up commandeered by the baby gods every time she makes them for me. And I’m suddenly realizing that yes– all of this fuss is for me. 
And I’m also figuring out why it’s so surprising this year.  
It’s not that the job is effortless–I mean, most moms out there will tell you that it NEVER gets effortless– and it’s not like all that time I thought I’d have when I wrote for a living ever really materialized.  It’s not like I’m always paying attention 100% of the time like I think I should be, and it’s not like the house has gotten much cleaner.  I still don’t have as much time to cuddle as I thought I would, and my knitting is STILL taking backseat to a kid (a much bigger kid!) on my lap.  
But still– that mom thing has gotten a little easier.  
I make lunch, give them a breakfast option and at least know what’s coming for dinner.  There is a song and a story EVERY night.  I know my children’s teachers, I volunteer in their school, and I know who my daughter’s crush is and what my older son is doing in college.  Many of the things I meant to do when I was both teaching and writing, I now actually do, and the times when stress flared my temper like a magnesium road alert are much fewer and farther between.  Whereas before, Mate was the one who got them out the door, now we work as a team, and although I’m busy in the afternoons when they’re home, I’m still there.  

And when I realized how surprised I was that Mother’s Day was actually still my day, it occurred to me that, just because being a good mom while maintaining a career I loved was now difficult instead of bloody fucking impossible, that didn’t mean I still don’t get a little bit of credit.  I was sitting in front of the television tonight with first one hefty grade schooler on my lap and then another, and I thought, “Oh… this is where some of my knitting time has gone.”  I was sitting in front of my computer, trying to engage in a chat when Big T came to talk to me about his career options, again, and his personality type, again, and it hit me, “This is why working at the computer sometimes feels like a game of Stratego played in a mine field.”  Big T left and Chicken started texting me with pictures of her shoes for her prom, and for a minute I was resentful, because hey, wasn’t her father there? And then it hit me–
This is what the flowers are for, and the cards, and the gifts.  This is why the whispering and the secrets, and Mate’s concern that the vacuum would be as good a gift as a tattoo.  
My life situation has improved a little–it has–and I’m grateful in so many ways.  But I’m still THE MAMA, and it may not be bloody fucking impossible but it’s still hard, and I’m still proud that on occasion I get it right.  
Or, at least my kids get it right for me, and I think that counts.

So, small tidbits of motherhood this week that you might treasure with me:

Zoomboy–upon getting a bandaid for an ingrown fingernail that I’d just treated:  “Oh Geez, Mom!  Does it have to be Hello-Kitty?”

Squish;  “Well, you DID squeal like a girl!”

Chicken, proudly: “You are my sister!”


Mate–out of nowhere as I was writing and he was watching television:  “So.  Chicken.  Birth control.”

Me: 0.o

Mate: “What?”

Me: “Goddess bless all progressive fathers, but, uhm, we’ve had that conversation already.  She’s not ready.”

Mate:  “But she’ll need some before she goes away to college.”

Me:  o.0

Mate:  “What?”

Me:  “Yeah, yeah, I’ve got it covered.”

Mate:  “Okay.  Go back to work now.”

Me:  >.<  “Sure.  I’ll do that.”


Chicken, after trying to talk to me when I’ve been engaged in a Facebook chat for the second hour of a three hour chat: “Okay, okay, I’ll leave you alone, I can see you’re busy.”

Me: “Great.  Thanks.  Do that.”

Big T:  “Facebook chat– what is that?”

Chicken:  “She’s talking to like a zillion people.  Look at her.  Her eyes are bugging out.”

Big T:  “So, were you doing that when I was trying to talk to you an hour ago?”

Me:  “YES!!!”

Big T:  “I’m sorry!  I’m sorry!  Next time tell me!”

Me:  “Next time, take the words ‘I’m on chat, let me work!’ to actually mean something!”

Big T:  “Ooohhhh….”


So, Mother’s Day.  Yeah.  It’s never easy.  But I’ll tell you what– I’ll take difficult over bloody fucking impossible any day.  I’ll take my chocolates tomorrow, and my cards, and my lie-in, and I’ll be proud and pleased.  I just might have earned it.

0 thoughts on “Notes From The Front”

  1. Galad says:

    Might have earned it? What you do every day is priceless to the children who love you.

    Enjoy your day!

  2. This is one of those days where it really sucks to have DH deployed. Girl-child is reaching that self-absorbed state where she doesn't get out of bed until she's forced, and the boys don't really think ahead (although DinoBoy *did* just offer to make me a bowl of cold cereal & bring it to me in bed…)

  3. Kim Williams says:

    A mother's day present to both me AND you. I bought every one of your books that I did not already have!

  4. DecRainK says:

    Happy Mother's day!

    love all the stories, but the hello-kitty one is the BEST!!!

  5. Sure, you was stressed out because you was working three jobs. Now you've got two important jobs and they're time sucks. Take the praises and enjoy them.

  6. roxie says:

    No parent is perfect. Your kids enjoy your company. What more could you ask? I hope your dad was frabjous!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *