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.

days worth celebrating

Pretty much every one knows by now that this week was a landmark week with National Siblings Day and National Pets Day. We know this, of course thanks to social media and all of the I-really-don’t-like-these-national-whatever-days-but-here-is-a-picture-of-my-punk-brother-and-brat-sister-and-me-and-my-cat-and-my-dog-and-my-hedgehog. Thanks social media friends, even if you really don’t care abouhonoring those life-long cradle to grave relationships that are the ones you share with brothers and sisters or celebrate the joy pets bring to our lives and to create public awareness about the plight of many different kinds of animals awaiting a forever home in shelters and rescues all around the globe. Yeah, we see your feigned indifference and we are not buying it. Not at all.

You care about those people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring, quite often the hard way.

Your cat, on the other hand, probably doesn’t care. She probably doesn’t even care about National Grilled Cheese Day, which is today.. She would care if I were to make this grilled cheese sandwich. WE ALL WOULD CARE! Alas, my darling husband is on a strict diet right now and I am joining him in solidarity and because I could stand to lose a few myself. 

Meanwhile, this picture posted on social media in celebration of days worth celebrating is truly the best and the one, for me, most worth celebrating.

Although I fear I might never be able to forgive their parents for allowing them to grow up so fast.

Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.

~ Margaret Mead

it’s beautiful, we’re beautiful

Did you see the big game? You know that there was a game, right? Alexander Hamilpup proved to be quite the MVP. Yeah, Brady also finally joined the big game with the Patriots in the 4th quarter and upset the Falcons. That was definitely NOT the outcome we wanted to see under The Big Top. But my son-in-law won $5 accurately predicting when Brady would get sacked in the game. Most of our family circus was together under The Big Top. Together we all ate way too much finger foods, watched the Puppy Bowl XI, Super Bowl LI, the original Schuyler Sisters celebrating America, brotherhood and sisterhood, Lady Gaga’s amazing halftime performance that was patriotic enough to make the Trumpkins happy with a healthy dose of protest in there too…“liberty and justice FOR ALL..No matter gay, straight, or bi, Lesbian, transgendered life…and enjoyed all of the silly and the sublime that were the Super Bowl ads. Some argued that the ads were disrespectful and trolling the 45th president, known as Lord Dampnut here under The Big Top; but they were actually the sane and good things about America that makes us great…which might seem like trolling when one considers what the actual fuck has happened in the last two weeks in America. But this is where we are in Lord Dampnut’s America – and commercials that celebrate American values are an insult to him and the office.

Yeah.

Like the opening song and the halftime show, what I saw was a celebration of the diversity, the drive, the can-do spirit that made America great before an angry man with the worst comb-over ever and his even angrier people declared it to not be so.

Coca Cola’s It’s Beautiful ad actually first aired during the Summer Games broadcast but it was still relative as it was one of the first ads to play during the big game. More followed as did all the ugly, angry comments all over social media. Honestly, people were more angry over these spots than the fact that it took more than 3 quarters before the Patriots and Brady finally started playing like it was a big game.

Hate all you want, but pretty much all of us came from somewhere before we arrived here. Thanks to my father in law’s hobby, I know that my darling husband’s ancestors came here from England, Scotland and Ireland mostly before the Revolutionary War. My ancestry hails too from England as well as Germany, France, Switzerland and Scandinavia. Pretty much all of us come from immigrants fleeing religious persecution, famine, ethnic cleansing, poverty to seek something better. Some of us also came here against our will in chains. Like Budweiser’s Born the Hard Way ad, our people were likely greeted with a mix of open arms and outright hate, as it seems today. All of us, literally all of us, unless we are 100% Native American, came from somewhere else and, it’s beautiful. We are beautiful. America is beautiful.

And, were it not for an immigrant coming to America in THIS century looking for something better, my youngest child, my favorite son, would not be here right now calling me “Mom”.

THAT is truly beautiful!

things needed

When Bill’s step-mom was alive, she was known to always ask for the simplest of things for Christmas: pot holders, placemats, dish towels, note cards. Nothing fancy, mind you. I learned that gifting her with the fanciest of place mats when all she wanted was some simple-everyday-when-the-grandkids-are-here kind of placemats. The simple things were the things she wanted, needed and loved the best. Me, the 20 and 30-something, who had the most complicated (and often expensive) of wants and needs never got why someone would want pot holders for Christmas.

Here we are, years and years later, and when pressed to share what I might be wishing for Christmas this year I could not think of anything…nothing that I desperately wanted or needed. Nine months ago I downsized in a big way moving our Big Top to 800 less square footage. The last thing I needed was more stuff…except maybe I could use some new potholders.

POTHOLDERS?!

Yes. I know. I seem to be channeling Barbara but the potholders I have are old and raggedy and have to be at least 13 years old. Sure I could pick up some while making a Target run…and I should have. But while making a Target run, I am usually there for other things: prescriptions, t-shirts for the guys, trash bags, shampoo, soap, whatever, anything…anything but potholders because when I am running through Target, likely spending too much money, the LAST thing I am thinking of is those ratty, blue potholders that have seen better days.

Point taken.

And so Christmas morning, I received

Oh yeah! Potholders! Also these sweet counter height stools from Pottery Barn for my kitchen along with lots of others wonderful, thoughtful and much needed gifts including chocolate and wine; because I really do need other things.

But this, this was the best and what I need more than anything.

Even potholders.

Yeah, I’m feeling very thankful, very blessed.