Sunday, May 10, 2009
Happy Mother's Day!
photo from Google Images
Motherhood isn't for everyone. There are women who would love to be mothers, but for whom, somehow, that does not happen. There are women who have no strong feelings, one way or the other, about motherhood; somoe of them become mothers and some do not. There are women who have no desire to become mothers who end up having children anyway; some of them become mothers who resent their children, but some of them become mothers who fall madly, deeply, in love with their children. And then there are women like myself, who borrow kids before we have our own, just for the pleasure of their company; who always knew that no matter what else we did in this life, being a mother would be a big part of it. This year, both of my daughters are mothers too, and there is a sort of symmetry in that that makes me smile.
For Mother's Day this year I had dinner last night with my youngest son (by 2 minutes), Chris, at my favorite restaurant, Lola. The server, a woman my age, beamed and asked if we were there for a special occasion. Chris smiled and said yes, but before he could say anything else I gushed "Our third anniversary!" Chris burst out laughing, rolled his eyes and said, setting the record straight: "Actually, we're here to celebrate Mother's Day". The server laughed and said that's what she would have guessed, but that she's learned the hard way that it's always best to ask what people are celebrating, and never to assume.
As we ate our excellent meal and discussed a variety of topics, I found myself telling Chris about the time when he was eleven months old and we were camping on top of the Colorado National Monument and he woke up needing to be changed in the middle of the night. We had a pop up camper, and everyone else was asleep, so I picked him up and took him outside. It was a beautiful, warm summer night, with a zillion stars overhead, the milky way cutting a wide and clearly visible swath across the night sky. The stars were so bright that I knew I'd be able to change his diaper by starlight, so I placed a blanket on a picnic table and laid Chris down on it. Then something amazing happened: as Chris lay there, looking up at the stars, he began gurgling and cooing...I swear he was trying to sing; that he was so taken with the beauty of the night sky that he had to try to express himself. It was one of those moments, when it comes to you that this is what matters, and not much else, really.
I don't know how long I stood there, smiling at Chris as he cooed and crooned at the stars. Eventually, I got him into a clean diaper and clean sleeper; then I picked him up and held him close and nursed him, for a long time, under that beautiful, starry night sky.
He laughed tonight when I told him the story. He's heard it before, but he clearly enjoyed hearing it again. He said that at 23, he's not ready to be a father yet (whew! good!), "but there are times, Mom, when you tell a story like this, that I think it must be so cool to have a moment like that..."
Yes, it is. VERY cool.
Coincidentally, this is my 500th post, and I'm glad (and think it's fitting) that it's a post about family.
Happy Mother's Day!