Mother’s Day

I didn’t take the easy road to motherhood. The one we all learn about in health class during junior high. Insert part A into part B then wait nine (ten really) months and baby will emerge (not exactly but I decline to be one of those moms who holds that ordeal over her child’s head). Consequently my feelings on the subject and the holiday in its honor are decidedly mixed.

Until today I have never really celebrated Mother’s Day in a greeting card family sitcom kind of way. Circumstances have been such that it wasn’t a priority or even a big deal. My daughter would cart home the obligatory art projects and frankly that was enough. Last year was the first year a “dad’s” input on the matter even came up. Rob was away on a golf holiday in B.C. with some buddies and apologized profusely for not being there to “help” and by that I took it to mean – take the child out shopping – but it really didn’t matter that much to me. I like the cards and strange gifts that her teachers dream up for her to put together and give to me. She is always so excited and loves to keep the gift a secret until I see it. This year her class is having a Mother’s Day Tea complete with musical numbers and treats on the Monday following and she is beside herself with glee. What more could a mum need?

Saturday Rob took Katy shopping for Mother’s Day. He asked me for ideas and I gave him a few. He then asked if my list (a very short one by the way) was an “either/or” or an “all of the above”. At which point I reminded him that Mother’s Day is a made up holiday that has too many consumer origins to make it as important as a birthday or a wedding anniversary or remembering loved ones who have died. Priorities. But I ended up with a pink Timex sportswatch. Waterproof with cool timing features. I also scored two yoga tops from my favorite store, Lululemon. I didn’t need any of those things. Well, the watch because time is starting to be an issue. I never get anywhere anymore unless I am late or just squeaking in at the last minute. Rob explained that the gifts were catching me up for Mother’s Days past. He is sweet like that, don’t ya think?

At one point in the not so distant past, I wondered if I would ever be a mom at all. There were days that followed when I worried that I wasn’t worthy and was certain that I was ruining my child with my ineptitude and failings. With almost six years of this mothering thing under my belt, I am pretty sure I am not the worst mother on the planet in any era nor am I a candidate for mother of the year. Like most women I fall somewhere in the middle and consider myself in very good company.


Image by tanya_little via Flickr

All the world and just about every piece of furniture in the house is an opportunity to practice great feats of acrobatic daring and skill. This is according to my daughter. Because though she is afraid to walk down a flight of stairs without gripping the railing or resorting to scooting on her bum, she thinks nothing of hurling herself through the air as she leaps from love seat to ottoman to recliner where she will dive arms out-stretched into the cushioned seat flipping her legs over the high back and catching herself securely with her slightly crooked knees. Once in this decidedly upside down position, she will rock the lazy-boy with such force that it comes very near to losing its balance and spilling her onto the floor behind it.


Tonight as I was working on the hyperlinks for the new photo albums, and frustrating myself far more than was necessary since I could have just read the directions again, she called me into our furniture-lite living room to watch her perform her “acrobends”.


“They are very hard and sometimes they hurt.”


Although she usually adheres genetically to her late father’s theory that “if there is pain; there isn’t much of use to be gained”, this doesn’t apply to the twisty contortions only a preschooler is physically capable of performing. The more painful or potentially injurious it looks, the more it appeals.


I watched her for a few minutes before she tired of her cartwheel attempts and began to demonstrate her ballet moves which include “peelays” and something that looks like a top spinning out of control.


Later, after she had moved on to the swings in the backyard that she doesn’t yet grasp we will have to leave behind when we move, I sat at the keyboard and recalled some of the new vocabulary and facts she has acquired in preschool this year in addition to her growing agility.


January was an enlightening month. I was solemnly informed of the importance of “Dr. Luther King” for the entire week preceding and following his holiday.


“He died, Mommy. He got a shot in the park.”


February was packed. There were valentines and the Chinese New Year.


She was intrigued by the idea that years could be animals.


“What year were you born?”


I told her I was a rabbit and that daddy had been an ox, which made her laugh. She was born in the year of the horse, I told her, like Frankie. The Chinese despair of a daughter who is born in the year of the horse. I never did find out why though being a mother to a little horse for nearly five years now, I have a pretty good idea.


Presidents loomed large in February.


“We learned about presidents today, Mommy.”


“Which ones?


“George Washington and Hammerman Lincoln.”


“Are you sure it’s not Abraham?”


“No, Mommy, it’s Hammerman.”


She speaks slowly to me at times like these and in a tone that makes it clear I am not as smart as she is though,


“I really want to be wrong sometimes, Mommy, so you can be right.”


I have a feeling she won’t remember that conversation in ten years, but for now I will accept the sentiment behind it and wish myself a Happy Mother’s Day in advance.