Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mama I’m coming home (A Mother’s Day Tribute)

“Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”
― Elizabeth Stone.

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of cake for five people, promptly announces she never did care for cake. 
~Tenneva Jordan

“It is not until much later, as the skin sags and the heart weakens, that children understand; their stories, and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives.”
-Mitch Album

It might seem strange to start a Mother’s Day tribute with the title of an Ozzy Osbourne song. I’ll explain that later.

 But let me backup and give you an opinion.

Mother’s Day should be the biggest holiday of the year.

Sure Christmas is tough to argue with, and a lot of people love Thanksgiving or Easter, but to me, Mother’s Day trumps them all. Surely no one ever put in more hours in your service than your mother, and I bet it’s not even close. I read recently in a business magazine that the average mom spends 80 hours a week (that was one of the low estimates) taking care of the children and the home. From the day you come into the world kicking and screaming, your mother never stops wiping your nose, cleaning up after you, and making sure you have the things that you need, (this lasted till about 24 for me personally).

One day in return with a Denver Omelette and cheap flowers seems a little low to me.

And we sure do take them for granted. Wow do we take them for granted. As much as I would like to pull rank and say that I know this from being a family therapist, that would be a little bit of a lie. I know it because I’m guilty of it, and always have been.

I do see it though. I know that sad and bewildered tone in a mother’s voice when her 13 year-old daughter has started to turn on her after years of closeness and admiration. I know the look in her eyes when her 8 year-old son tells her he hates her for the first time, and she quietly absorbs the hurt without much rebuttal. I’ve seen the bags under the eyes of the mother who has waited up all night for her teenaged child to come home, hoping and praying that whatever he does, he won’t pay the ultimate price for a momentary and impulsive decision.

I don’t know how they do it. I really don’t. I know I rarely said thank you, and many of us don’t very much during these years. It’s all about us when we’re young, and that’s not as much a criticism as it is a statement about our development into responsible human beings. Our mothers want so desperately for us to grow into good people, and often we seemingly fight them every step of the way. And yet they trudge on, cleaning our clothes, making our lunches, and most of all just continuing to care, really care, what happens to us next.

In the moment it feels like they’re nagging.

Upon reflection though, this caring and attention is everything.

So please, please, please, don’t just buy a card today and think you’re covered. You’re not. Not even close. This is as much a note to myself as it is to you.

This should last more than a day.

And why the Ozzie song for a title? It’s simple really. I’m leaving the country soon, probably for a long time. I want to go home first. Spend some time with my mother, and perhaps absorb a few more lessons, and feel the comfort of home one last time again. I’ll get back there if I have to crawl. So yes, I’m quoting Ozzy Osbourne to end this little essay. Even guys that bite the heads off of bats have mothers.

I bet she worried he was going to get rabies..

Their job never really ends.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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