Sunday, May 13, 2007

mother's day

Oprah says motherhood is the hardest job in the world. And I agree. So in honor of the millions of hardworking, underappreciated mom’s out there, I want to take a moment to recognize moms in general, and mine in particular.

Mother's Day hits my mom twice a year. My brother and sister celebrate the UK Mother’s Day with her in March. And I celebrate (usually from afar) the US Mother’s Day in May. She likes it that way; makes her feel doubly special.

Despite her now chronic disabled physical state, she is a rock. She never complains. Tries always to keep a positive attitude (“ ... who wants to hear about my problems when they have their own ... ” she says). And takes each week one day at a time.

There are many things I could write about her, the list would be long. But many of them are very private, personal memories. So today I want to share just 5 things that I really do appreciate about J, my mom.

  • I appreciate that she taught me to write, read, sew, knit, swim, and cook all by the age of 6; and that she engrossed me and my siblings in music, books, films, dance, art, athletics, foreign food and culture … and that she continues to surprise and teach me even today.

  • I appreciate that J was always the cool mom; that when my siblings and I threw parties, we could rely on her to mix the best cocktail punch in town … and then discreetly disappear. (Except the time she dressed as a Playboy Bunny, then none of the boys would let her disappear!)

  • I appreciate that she cheered me on to run free and see the world after school; that while my friends' mothers all nagged them to “ … find a husband and settle down” close to home, my mother told me over and over “There’s a huge universe out there for you to experience”. Even now, when I know she would love to have me closer to home, she remains adamant that I must lead my own life, wherever that may take me.

  • I appreciate that she encouraged me to still be my daddy’s girl, even after they divorced, even though she was really mad with him ( … and even though I was 25 years old at the time!)

  • I appreciate that she’s always believed in me, often much more than I believed in myself. And that no matter what time of day or night I’ve called ( … and still call), she’s patiently listened to my most difficult struggles and blackest heartbreaks, and smiled at my over-the-top joyful hysteria or garbled excitement about nothing-much-at-all. And most importantly, she’s listened to all that garbage without judging me ... or mine.
I know that was 5, but this last one is so much a part of who J is that I can't leave it out.

I appreciate her self-effacing humor and no BS British Bulldog character, which has picked us up during tough times, taught us to celebrate the good times, and allows no place for moping, pity, or grandiosity—from self or others. (She’s probably asking for a gag bucket right now as she reads my list.)

With that said, and to quote a wise-wise woman, “Let's get moving! All this lallygagging won’t buy the baby a new dress!!” ... and I have to get back to work.

Love you ma! x

Photos of J and grandkids at her 70th birthday, May 2006.


Ant said...

All the best to your mom (mum? :o) )

Of course I don't know the lady, but your own unwavering positivity and generally amazing attitude towards life is the best credit to her motherhood!

Ian Lidster said...

A very touching tribute to a lady I'd love to have met. You are very fortunate.

Bibi said...

Ant ... yes, 'mum'!! I'm sure she'd appreciate that. ;-)

Ian ... she's still very much a character and I agree with you, I am lucky.

andrea said...

Lovely. She sounds like a real role model for those of us in the trenches (though they're pretty good trenches I must admit!). The photo with the grandkids is fantastic.

Becca said...

How fortunate you were to have such a mom! She sounds like a true gem, and I think you've done her proud :)

theotherbear said...

Sounds like you have a fabulous realtionship with your mum. What a lovely post!!

theotherbear said...

Er, I meant relationship :)

Anonymous said...

Bibi, that you are who and what you are is the biggest testament to your mother's raising. She sounds awesome. I secretly think you are too. =:Q

Ces Adorio said...

Goosebumps! I love your tribute to your mother, a marvelous lady. Good mothers are irreplaceable treasures. You are lucky and blessed. May God bless your Mother ever more.

Kiyotoe said...

Your mom does sound like the cool mom. I don't know about the Playboy Bunny though. As the oldest son, I would lost a lot of friends (and probably a couple of fights) if any of my friends even HINTED that they liked the way my mom looked in a playboy bunny costume. Whew! lol.

Great post Beebs (uh oh, i think i found your nickname).

Bibi said...

Andrea, I like that picture too...shows their zaniness.

Becca, thank you! I'm still lucky.

Theotherbear, I know, fingers have a mind of their own when you're typing fast.

Bibi said...

Peteknowles, boy is she going to get a swelled head ... but I won't. :-)

Ces, thanks for that ... mother's are very precious. As are fathers.

Kiyotoe, LOL, my brother just laughed it off and said they were all desperate! She was in really good shape back then and did look quite stunning. She's quite a tomboy so the boys have always liked her.

Cazzie!!! said...

Awesome feelgood post, I love it :)

MSU gal said...

what a lovely tribute to your mom

John Ivey said...

Your mother sounds absolutely grand. It seems she's been an inspiration to you throughout your life, and your wonderful post reflects what a great daughter she has in you. I'm sure she's awfully proud.

Pamela said...

lovely tribute.
I wish my mom was here to see all her great grandchildren. She would be so thrilled. ESPECIALLY... because one is a red head and one is curly head.
She always said she wanted those.. and a brown-eyed one, too.

Bibi said...

Cazzie, good to 'feel good' ;-)

MSU Gal, hope you had a great mother's day with B-girl!

John, I keep telling her what a great daughter she has, LOL. She 'occasionally' lets it slip that she thinks we're all 3 wonderful. ;-)

Pamela, I'm sure your mom would be thrilled and I'm sure she's missed.

kj said...

bibi, i'm late to reading this but the lump in my throat came early. what a great tribute and what a wise mother.

i hope my spunk of a daughter will describe me someday just as your have your mother. and i hope my spunk of a mother, now 91, will continue to ask what she can do for me even when she can't remember the details.

thanks bibi. all the best to you.


dinahmow said...

The bit about the parties sparked memories for me.In the days of make-your-own-fun, my mother turned on some great parties for us kids.
A lovely tribute, Bibi.

Bibi said...

kj ... I love spunky women (and men!) And I'm sure your daughter will describe you that way too.

dianhmow ... great to have those memories; and great to have a mother who made the effort! :-D