I was going to write an essay about my mother, pinned to this greeting card and flower company holiday, Mother’s Day. It was going to be effusive but witty; long but concise. It would be featured on some popular website and be shared many times. It would explain how my mother, who birthed and raised six kids, gave us her unconditional love and devotion, yet somehow could never be accurately characterized as a Tiger Mom or a helicopter parent. How I grew up to look nothing like her on the outside but so much like her on the inside. How her parenting model is one to which I will always aspire and how, despite being so actively involved in my kids’ lives, the only parenting advice she ever gave me was, “Every child is different.”
And how the ultimate measure of her parenting success may not be the success of her six children measured in predictable ways, but that, as adults, we all want to live near her. And how each of us talks to her virtually every day – some of us multiple times – not because we think we have to, but because we want to.
But… when I sat down to write this essay a few times over the past few days before or after work, my youngest child would have none of it. “Read to me mommy.” And, “Can I have some milk?” And then one of the older ones. “I need new sandals. My old ones are too small.” And, “Should we give away some of the old stuff to make room?” And of course the ice skating – the freestyle session and the tots class. So the essay did not get written before Mother’s Day morning like I wanted because I poured the milk and I read ‘The Little Red Lighthouse” and got new sandals and filled up the charity bags and shivered in the rink while I waved to my kid skating by. And decided not to worry about it too much. That is how my mom would want it.