Posts Tagged ‘mother’s day’
My friend Chris has a moving Mothers Day tradition and I asked if I could share it with you today. If you’ve lost a mom, are a mom or have friends who are moms (that should cover everybody) then consider trying it too!
m-day project (re)explained
Well, I will try and explain it anyway. This is about the fifth time I have tried to compose this post. Where to begin?
My Mom died almost thirteen years ago (June 1999). The last thing I ever sent her was a Mother’s Day card. The last thing she sent me was a postcard with my sister’s address and a request to send my sister money for an air conditioner.
One of the things that happens in the grief process is that you get to ‘celebrate’ (I use that term loosely as not much celebrating usually goes on in the first year) each of the holidays without the person. I still remember secretly sitting around on Thanksgiving thinking my Mom would call. I knew it was a crazy thought, but grief does things to your mind.
I thought I was doing better, and then Mother’s Day 2000 rolled around. It hit really hard that my Mom was gone, even though the more rational part of myself knew that had she been live, we probably would not have been together to celebrate. Here I should note that my Mother was an alcoholic with bipolar disorder. To say that our relationship was complex, would be an understatement. The anger part of my grief was coming at me at waves, so watching other mom/daughter relationships was very very hard. I would either get very angry or be brought to tears. It occurred even when I noticed complete strangers that I just happened upon in my day-to-day life. Fun times.
Nine years ago I decided that I needed to redirect these feelings. I needed to find a way to celebrate the moms in my life in an effort to lessen the pain and burden I was feeling. I had a few friends who had had children and I also had a teacher who was also a nun who was like a grandmother figure. And so I went and bought and sent Mother’s Day cards to them. I think I sent five. But I felt like I was doing something good and I felt better as a result.
The next year I continued this effort, but made my own postcards from photos I had taken. The list grew from five to thirty.
The following year I lost my teacher/nun friend. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it and so skipped a year.
In 2006 it seemed like more people I knew than not were becoming Moms, and so I decided it was time to bring back the project. Further inspiration came from the editor of Mommy Wars, Leslie Morgan Steiner. In her afterword she says that positive role models for American mothers in the 21st century are as hard to find as “swim diapers at Target in August”. She also asks when was the last time you told another woman she was a good mother. I ended up sending out cards to over 50 women around the globe.
This year I will reach 100 cards (last year I only sent 91). I was also very conflicted this year, as I am trying to come to terms with motherhood. I wasn’t sure what I would write about, and I had no idea what I would use for the photos. Instead, I remembered that my Mom’s last gift to me was a stuffed bear named Stanley. He sleeps on my pillow most of the time. I also happened to have a great shot of him taken at a hotel in Monterey, California, which was also one of my mother’s favorite places.
In this year’s card, I wrote about how Stanley reminds me that treasures often turn up in unexpected places, and that we are never prepared for lasts. I also think this may be the first year that most of the postcards arrive in time for Mother’s Day.
This year I was one of the lucky moms to receive a postcard from Chris. I was (am) honored to to be a part of the tradition and it truly did brighten my day to get a handwritten note. Now to bring out the stationary and write a few Mother’s Day notes…
Thank you Chris for letting me share this post!!
There is a lot of power in being a mom! I’m not talking power trips or the power to do good or evil. Though being “mom” certainly does allow opportunities! I’m thinking more along the lines of the power to be a fun mom. Maybe power isn’t the best word… choice? Yeah, the choice to ignore the messy living room for a day and have a water fight instead! I have a feeling my kiddos won’t remember a few
months days in a cluttered house but they will remember the fun of spraying the heck out of each other with H2O on a hot day. And the flip side – they probably would cringe at memories of a mom whose need for a spotless house kept the family on pins and needles every time a toy was pulled out.
Maybe one of my favorite family buzz words, intentional, is the best to describe our Mom-power. Being intentional about my mommy decisions is key in my daily mom-ness. I’m intentional because I know that what I teach them will have long lasting effects. Now, I’m not saying I always make the best mom-choices (that’s unintentional, of course) and I most definitely won’t be the “fun mom” that buys beer for her 16 year olds, but sometimes I get it right. Like letting a certain lil’ fellow use a stick he found on a walk as a fork for his snap peas.
(pics from June 2010)
Happy Mother’s Day tomorrow!
I’ll be at the beach enjoying my annual Mother’s Day picnic.
Mother’s Day 2006 - fetus Eli gave me a snoogle…
Mother’s Day 2007 – We started our tradition of a Mother’s Day picnic after church…
I’m not a huge gift gal and I thought that a beach day/picnic tradition will carry on through their teen years. They can surf (with daddy) and scope out for hotties (do people still say that?) while I get my beach reading on!
(found out I was preggers with Cora Jane 3 weeks later!!)
Mother’s Day 2008 – Hanging with Mommy friends at church. Can you find Eli and 3 month old Cora Jane?? I’m sure we went to the beach for a picnic but we must have forgotten our camera…
Mother’s Day 2009 – A walk and a picnic at the lake.
Mother’s Day 2010 – We went to church then expected a hot afternoon for the beach picnic. But it was freezing!! Thank goodness I’m always ready with Lids in the car!!
We hit up Cafe Rio for lunch then went to get Cora Jane’s first hair cut… because if you can’t go to the beach you get your hair cut… right?? Very random… but I loved every second I’m thinking I have a date with the laundry pile this evening!
Being a mom rocks!! Whether you are soaking up the sun or doing laundry today, I’m sending you blessings!
Check back tomorrow, as we extend the MOM’s Day fun with a big surprise!
I wore my new cover-up from Sam’s club.
Love to my kiddos for making me a Mommy.