The complexity of the simple
On May 10, I celebrated my forty-first Mother's Day. I became an official member of this club in March of 1974 with the birth of my daughter. I was only 23. For years this day was a splash of homemade gifts, sampling of restuarant cuisine and alot of actual mothering. It never dawned on me to take this day off from the act of being a mother in some attempt of respite and renewal. For several years, the day was recognized with the addition of several grandchildren and I was knighted the matriarch of the clan. I now held an esteemed title, but no longer had the fuss and muss or day to day nurturing. This year as with the seven past, I received homemade gifts, dined at my favorite restaurant and played with "S". My first born who established the criteria for my membership shared her mother's day stories, we reflected on the call of this duty and I listened with nods of simpatico. We understand that our lives are simple by nature, but complex in reality. Giving birth and unconditionally loving another human being is as old as time itself, but creating a self-reliant, non-addictive, confident, non-judgmental, happy adult is extremely complex. We have very mundane and rather boring schedules for daily wake ups, bedtimes and all the in between. We drive to and fro to activities, and attempt to balance work, and play. We entertain, we clean, we shop, and we cook. We tire from the physical aspects of this job, but are exhausted from the emotional/social realm of mothering. "S" and my grandchildren are inundated with issues that flood our homes each day. We are tasked to respond in ways that create growth through experience and not despair and confusion. It is easier when they are toddlers, but becomes more difficult with each passing year. "S" already questions her confidence in terms of her appearance and her abilities. She judges others who disagree with her and has defined standards for what she likes or "hates". She wants to be older to watch certain TV shows, get her ears pierced, color her hair, get an Iphone, and basically do what she wants when she wants to,. My older grandchildren grapple with global news of terror and invasion, a collapsed economy, and social media that can be more manipulative than informative. They question their roles in this world and the possibility of fulfilling dreams within an ever changing society. Most days I realize why mothers come to peak around 30 and pretty much burn out by 50! Too many think child rearing is simple, write books, answer with pat solutions, offer advice without thinking, but I declare that you should stand in the shoes of a mother for a day and you will realize this trek is complex and intense. Happy Mother's Day to all who have answered the call to serve!
Garden Ridge, Texas