for Mother’s Day

Have you seen what mothers want for Mother’s Day on Facebook?

Every year my children ask me the same question. After thinking about it, I decided I’d give them my real answer:
What do I want for Mother’s Day? I want you. I want you to keep coming around, I want you to bring your kids around, I want you to ask me questions, ask my advice, tell me your problems, ask for my opinion, ask for my help. I want you to come over and rant about your problems, rant about life, whatever. Tell me about your job, your worries, your kids, your fur babies. I want you to continue sharing your life with me. Come over and laugh with me, or laugh at me, I don’t care. Hearing you laugh is music to me.
I spent the better part of my life raising you the best way I knew how. Now, give me time to sit back and admire my work.
Raid my refrigerator, help yourself, I really don’t mind. In fact, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I want you to spend your money making a better life for you and your family, I have the things I need. I want to see you happy and healthy. When you ask me what I want for Mother’s Day, I say “nothing” because you’ve already been giving me my gift all year. I want you.

At first read, I sighed a little “Awww” because it’s such a sweet sentiment. Yes, this is exactly what I wish for Mother’s Day, and every day with my kids, now that four of them are grown. I will always be your mother; but now I kind of want your friendship. Except for the fact that I remember when I was your age.

Yeah, I know how that sounds and I also know that you’re rolling your eyes just a little – perhaps a lot if you are that one kid of mine.

But I do, kids. I do recall what it was like to be your age trying to figure out this adult life thing along with love and sex and relationships, balancing budgets, saving – or not saving, school, career, marriage, having babies, having more babies, and everything else that is adulting. I know that nothing filled me more with self-doubt and self-loathing as an adult than the advice that I never really asked for – and there was a lot of it – whether I asked for it or not – usually I did not ask for it.

And so, kids, I bite my tongue – A LOT.

I want to talk to you about your life, your loves, your friends, your school, your career. I definitely wonder if marriage is for you – and children. I want to know about who was that one guy on your Instagram and Snapchat. I am curious about your plans for school, your job, your career. I even want to see what your friends are sharing about you on that birthday tribute page.  I do, kids. I really do.

But I can still remember when I was your age.

Some things are private – for you – for me. As mom, I am not a fan. As a person who values the trust we have built together, you know, as friends, I do my best to respect you.

Yeah, I bite my tongue a lot.

But, my dear kids, I know that I raised up some pretty awesome people – because of, or perhaps in spite of my parenting. And that is why I am privileged to enjoy our conversations – when you ask me questions, ask my advice, tell me your problems, ask for my opinion, ask for my help. When you to come over and rant about your problems, rant about life, whatever. When you tell me about your job, your worries, your kids, your fur babies. I love when you laugh with me and, occasionally, when you laugh at me. I love when you are here, raiding my refrigerator and pantry too. Most of all, I love just hanging out with you – all of you. That time together reminds me what amazing people my children are and, yeah, I am going to take some credit for that.

I love you kids! Thank you for making me a mom. More than anything, that is the best Mother’s Day gift; all of you.

mother, child, friend

Twenty five years ago, we met face to face for the very first time. That’s right folks, my Zoë Elizabeth is twenty five years old!

She steals my breath every time I regard her while basking in her warm, bright, shining face.

Twenty five years ago I was her mother and she was my child. Through the years we challenged one another in many ways. There were the times where I did find myself saying out loud, “I am not your friend, I am your mother.” I might have even screamed it through an abruptly slammed door. But that is part of being a parent. I won’t lie though, I wanted to be her friend. I really, really wanted to be her friend. I have always loved talking to her, laughing with her, playing with her. Yesterday she called me her friend and with her now at twenty five, we are at a place where we can be friends.

Always her mother, always my daughter, and now my friend.

Happy birthday cheers my darling daughter and friend!

 

2017, hope, and the next generation

There is something troubling to hear in the news of the sudden, but peaceful death of a pop music icon of your own generation when he is around the same age as you…because he died peacefully can be a little bit disconcerting especially when the news reports add that George Michael was only 53. Sorry, but only 53 conjures up the assumption that most 50-something people are NOT facing very soon the inevitable end of their lives because only 53 suggests that there might be a few more years left to live.

Meanwhile…

WTF 2016?!!

I’m not the only one who has been saying that literally all year long. Just hurry up and end already! Please!

Perhaps that is why the AP is feeling like their New Year’s poll of 1,007 people surveyed online accurately portrays the tone of Americans right now. Optimistic as we face 2017? We have a president-elect gas-lighting nations, Congress, media, Saturday Night Live and corporations alike on Twitter; and when he actually tries to act presidential reaching out to include all Americans, his Trumpers freak out.

Sorry, imagining the potential with this kind of, er, leadership, I’m just not feeling all warm and fuzzy about the near future. I’m trying. Really, I am trying. But I just can’t. I just can’t even. I, and a number of other people I know (regardless of our politics), seem to be thinking more in line with what Michele Obama said recently.

We feel the difference now. See, now, we are feeling what not having hope feels like. Hope is necessary. It’s a necessary concept and Barack didn’t just talk about hope because he thought it was just a nice slogan to get votes. He and I and so many believe that — what else do you have if you don’t have hope. What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?

It’s true. What can I offer my young adult children, my teenaged son, my grand daughters if I can’t even begin to feel hopeful about the next four years…dear god please not eight years!!! It’s hard to imagine America while not having a grownup in the White House. Nailed it, Michele!

But thank you, Mr. President. Thanks Obama as you remind us of that generation right behind us, and I believe each successive generation, as long as we’re doing our job of being good models for it, they’re going to move this country forward in a better direction.

There is hope. Hope is right here. I’m willing to wait for it.

look at this photograph

Perhaps I should apologize for inserting a Nickelback ear worm into this blog post when I say to you to look at this photograph.

Every time I do it makes me laugh.

These three! These three as they are right now so perfectly captured in an awkward stop what you are doing right now kids and let me take your picture! 

Love these three…especially because they do make me laugh.

teach them well

You know when you have those conversations with your child about respect for authority, for those who are called to Protect and Serve their community…and those who protect and serve this community 70 or more miles from their own homes because the pay scale and benefits are better? Every opportunity you have, you teach them that they are our helpers and they are here to protect and help us when we are in trouble and all we really need to remember is to always follow their instructions doing exactly what they tell us to do and we have nothing ever to worry about (as long as we have done nothing wrong) because they are here to protect us and serve us. They deserve our honor, our respect, our trust as they bravely serve us and protect us and we talk about this with our kids, all the time…

I know, Mom. What about my friends J and A and my friend R?

What about them?

Well, J and A are Mexican and R is Black and…well, on the news…

:::sigh:::

On the news…

So…

What then do you say?

I mean, you remind your son not all Cops and not all Brown people and not all Black people…

And you see your White Privilege right there  glaring at you because you are not having the same conversation with your teenaged son as J’s mom, or A’s mom or R’s mom is having right now.

Of course you are not.

But right now what we really need to worry about are professional athletes expressing their First Amendment Rights as American citizens in a way that in our humble opinion is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Teach them.

Teach them well.

They will teach you too.

I’m not going to answer any questions today and it’s no offense to you guys. I think the state of things in the world today is very interesting. I think you have players that are trying to take a stand and trying to be aware of social issue and try to make a stand an increase people’s awareness and put a spotlight on it and they’re being ignored. Whether they’re taking a knee or whether they’re locking arms, they’re trying to bring people together and unite them for a cause. I think the last couple days a couple more guys have gotten shot and killed in the middle of the street. More videos have come out of guys getting killed, and I think people are still missing the point. The reason these guys are kneeling, the reason we’re locking arms is to bring people together to make people aware that this is not right. It’s not right for people to get killed in the street.

I do a lot of community service. I go out there and try to help kids and try to encourage them to be better and to aspire to more. And when you tell a kid, “When you’re dealing with police, just put your hands up and comply with everything,” and there’s still a chance of them getting shot and no repercussions for anyone, that’s an unfortunate time to be living. It’s an unfortunate place to be in. There’s not a lot you can tell a kid. There’s not a lot you can try to inspire… a person when you say, “We need black fathers to be in the community to stay their for your kids,” but they’re getting killed in the street for nothing, for putting their hands on their cars. And I think that’s the unfortunate part, that’s the unfortunate place that we’re living in. And something needs to be done. And so when a guy takes a knee, you can ignore it. You can say he’s not being patriotic, he’s not honoring the flag. I’m doing none of those things. I’m saying, straight up, this is wrong and we need to do something. So thank you guys, have a blessed day.

~ Richard Sherman, cornerback, Seattle Seahawks