Trying to put into words what being a mom is – to me. It’s hard. I can’t explain it. It’s like a combination of feelings, words, hope, happiness, sometimes sadness and/or grief, being scared or nervous, anticipation, wonderment and awe, as if every feeling I’ve ever experienced is multiplied times a thousand and it leaves me at a loss for words. It’s not simple … yet it is.
When I look at my two kids I can instantly see them as if they were just placed into my arms. I can see them or imagine them when they’re graduating or getting married or having children of their own. It’s rewarding and satisfying and gives me goosebumps. There have been some truly scary moments that have happened. Times when I wasn’t sure if my son would make it. Only I knew he would. That mommy intuition told me he would. I believe in that feeling, that knowing – it grounds me. It’s a love that is so pure and so beautiful that I, me personally, feel like I found what I was looking for when I became a mom: their mom.
I look back at the thousands upon thousands of pictures I have of them. Separate. Together. Each one has a story. Each one holds a special place in my heart. Each one takes me back to a moment and it’s hard to just choose one or two. For me Mother’s Day is not about me. It’s about them. Then me. It’s them now that they’re older asking questions as I once did: “what were my first words”, “was I happy or did I cry all the time” – that’s one more directed from Gretchen thinking her brother probably cried all the time (he didn’t) or just silly things when they found out they were in my belly [I won’t even go there with those questions and statements] as my kids are hilarious [to me] and this will end up way longer than I ever intended.
I grew up with four brothers and a sister. I spent summers up north in Connecticut with my grandparents and learned all the secrets of cooking Italian from my Gram’pa DelVecchio or went down south to Florida and worked on the James Farm – and yes, it was a farm a huge one. Growing up we even had chickens, pigs, and a few other animals along with a large garden of vegetables (five acres) and we had pets and ran from sun up until sun down. I played football with one brother and his friends being dressed up and called Bob Griese – suffering a broken nose to boot! There was an age gap of seven years between my closest in age sibling (brother) and myself. My two are just 15 months apart. They’re constantly asked if they’re twins. There are some tall tales in my childhood and even more already in my kids’ that makes me long for some of the things I was able to do as a child.
I have always said I don’t want regrets when I pass away. I teach that to my kids. I teach them how to be kind to all. How to navigate this ever-changing world. All the things I learned growing up and more so that they can perhaps be leaders of change in the years down the road. That they need to be respectful to all the people they meet. Differences are good and not to be feared. Life would be so dull otherwise. Above all, I teach them to love. Fully and without boundaries to all the people in their lives and all the ones they have yet to meet. I owe that perspective to my own mom. And my siblings. Along with my father. This day is about mom’s though. My mom was this larger than life person when I was growing up. It wasn’t always smooth sailing and it still isn’t. It’s not a perfect mom-daughter relationship. It’s difficult sometimes … to be honest. Yet, through all of that I never once forgot and still haven’t that “she’s my mom and I love her more than life itself” as it really is that simple.
The picture above captures my Mom, my grandparents “D”, and all my siblings (I had yet to come along and my dad was taking the picture); I love all the old pictures and have so many that are on slides that I would love to transfer into pictures … one day!
This Mother’s Day and every day, remember, it’s all about love. The love you have for your own mom, mother-in-law, sister(s), grandmother(s), aunts, cousins, your own children and yourself. It’s not about gifts/presents or trips. The best thing about being a mom (for me personally and in my opinion) has no cost to it at all. It’s better than brunch, breakfast in bed, perfume or anything. Give me a handmade card and hug and I’m happy. Matter-of-fact, to me Mother’s Day is every day not just one day a year.
My perspective is different too I feel because I’m a divorced mom of two children. I don’t have a significant other to help out or take my kids to get a present. Even when I did I didn’t feel that this day was to be acknowledged differently than any other. To me mom’s should be appreciated and respected daily. Love should be absolute and shown or acknowledged each day in some way. From just saying “I love you” to a hug. I’m simple. I am that way perhaps due to my son when he was non-verbal and he would squeeze my hand and not me. Being on the spectrum you navigate and take beauty in differences along with the way he sees the world and me. My daughter is just the opposite and wants to be right beside me. She wants to be held and hugged on and loved. Those are the best feelings – between both of them to me. They are each different and have taught me so much. That teaching happens every day and not one day a year. Yet, they know what the day is and my daughter helped my son to make me something for Mother’s Day. Her gesture to help him do that impacted me beyond words. That was a gift in and of itself. They are my gifts. I don’t need to be reminded of that. I won’t take that for granted ever. Even when sometimes they argue that love spills over between them and I know I’m raising them the right way (for us) and it shows daily in the way they treat others, see themselves, one another, and me – their mom. I am blessed.
Be appreciative of other mother’s and supportive. From friends to family. Include yourself in that list at the very top. That’s what being a mom is to me. My children, my family and my friends; along with myself. Have a beautiful day lovely dandelion moms!