Lime Green Pants

Being a mother is tricky stuff. I have always said I float between serial killer and valedictorian with my children every single day.

There isn’t a right answer or a book that tells you how to raise a healthy, well adjusted, productive human being. In fact, when I think about the actual task of helping a drooling infant become an employed, fulfilled, happy person…my brain shuts off.

Motherhood is meant to be accomplished in little steps. Daily gestures, advice and guidance. One stone at a time until you find yourself staring in awe at a person far better, richer, than you ever thought possible.

I went shopping for Mother’s Day cards last week. Not the easiest task because most of the cards are just, in my opinion, ridiculous.

Who are these mothers that they reference in these cards? They are one dimensional martyrs. Every year I look at the cards with colorful ribbon and bird’s nests and I just sigh. I managed to sift through and find a card for my mother, one that expressed what I wanted to tell her. It was simple, but I’m still not sure it captured how I feel every year on Mother’s Day.

My mother is exceptional. She’s flawed, as we all are, and my childhood was less than perfect, but she…she is a brilliant mother.

I have never spent one day of my life, not a moment, when I was not absolutely sure she loved me with her whole heart and would be there for me no matter what.

That’s really it in a nutshell, isn’t it?

Regardless of all the cards and flowers on Mother’s Day, isn’t that what we want most from our children. We want to know that we did and continue to do the job. That we have created a history for them, roots. More than anything we want to know that we made a difference in their lives and they are partly who they are because of our efforts.

A little red riding hood cape, working endless hours and then listening to a rambling teenager, dropping everything in the wee hours of the morning when the unexpected hits, and everything else in between. They never put that jumbled business in a Mother’s Day Card.

My mother can be overbearing and sometimes she drives me nuts. I tell her when she drives me crazy and I’m fairly sure she doesn’t care. She’s earned that right. Mother’s Day Card Moms would never drive anyone crazy.

My mother is a complex person that raised me on her own. We ate far too much junk food, we laughed more than should really be allowed, she yelled, she dried my eyes, was my biggest fan, she pieced together money, and showed me how to be strong, cope and how to respect and love another human being.

My mother is not some unattainable ideal in a Hallmark Card. She’s not an image of perfection and niceties. She is a real human being.

She wears bright lime green pants, she makes the best tuna fish sandwich, she has magical green eyes and fantastic legs. She’s a woman that raised a woman who will go on to raise other women.

Motherhood is a wondrous, complicated and messy journey. She taught me that by example and it has made all the difference.

Happy Mother’s Day!

That is all from the laundry room. Leave the Light on and Grow!

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