Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother loving.

Have you read the book, The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan? It's fantastic. I highly recommend it. It's a memoir about the time in her life when she's battling breast cancer at the same time her dad's battling cancer of his own.

The title refers to the place where most of us hang out - the middle place. We're children but we're also parents. We've got one foot in each camp.

I completely loved the book but my experience of the middle place is a little different than hers. While she seemed heavily identified with being a daughter, I, on the other hand, am most comfortable hanging in the mother camp.

I realize it most intensely on Mother's Day. About halfway through the day (or weekend, since I celebrate at least two days) I suddenly realize, dang! I haven't called my mom yet. Or sent a card that will arrive on time or done anything else that honors MY mother (or mother-in-law...). I am so busy being a mom that I almost forget I have one.

I hope that's not nearly as terrible as it sounds.

My Mother's Day is not about my children doing nice things for me. It's not even about my husband doing nice things for me (although, bless him, he always knocks it out of the park). Honestly, it's got nothing to do with anyone but me.

Mother's Day is a day I earned by becoming a mother. Kind of like how we all earn birthdays just by being born. Once a year we get to celebrate our wonderful selves for no other reason that we're here. That's how my Mother's Day is!

Whatever makes me heart sing is what I'm going to do (or not do). Sometimes it involves my children, sometimes it doesn't. But it never depends on them. Whether or not my kids or my husband do a single thing for me on Mother's Day honestly doesn't matter. They already did their part. They made me a mom. The celebration is up to me.

This can be both liberating and a little strange. As a mother, I'm so used to everyone else's needs mattering a lot that it's a bit of an adjustment to take a day to strictly focus on my own. But it's good. Really, really good.

Yesterday, after a leisurely morning walk with tea at High Garden and a grilled pimento cheese from Bella Nashville (I die), we stopped off at home before a friend and I went to get mani/pedis across town. There were a bunch of kids at the house (as per usual) and I suddenly had an idea. Inspired by some sidewalk chalk graffiti at Sweet 16th (did I neglect to mention the breakfast sandwich we picked up on our walk?), I wrote LOVE IS... on the sidewalk then asked the kids to write whatever came to them.

Finn immediately said, "Kisses." (He is so my husband's son.)

Liam, in the throws of play date splendor, wrote, "Playing!" Then a moment later added, "Soda."

Most of the kids at the house were boys so there was a lot of ew gross stuff going on. Love is disgusting, love is chaos, etc. But when I told them to think about their moms it went a little better. My favorite answer was Love is Helpful with a picture of a stick figure mom and a cup of coffee.

That's good stuff.

But since it's Mother's Day weekend and I get whatever I want for a few more hours, I'm gonna say my answer was the best. Love is everything.

Especially mama love.

Love to all you moms (and people who have moms) out there. I hope you're celebrating your wonderful selves today and taking some time to bask in the goodness you've spent all year cultivating. xo

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