Julie Lyles Carr: Mother's Day

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

It seems the longer I'm a mother, the worse a friend I'm becoming. I received in the mail late last week a card from a precious woman in the Lord from a church I attended over 25 years ago. She and I have been sending each other Mother's Day cards since I first entered the sorority almost 18 years ago--and for the second year in a row, I failed to send her a card pre-Mother's day (business idea: you know how they have those crazy belated birthday cards? Maybe we need them for all the other holidays, too. 'Merry Post Christmas', 'Love You Later Valentines'...Hallmark execs, feel free to contact me for more marketing magic like this...) Last year I had a great excuse; I was only a handful of days post-delivery of the twins and had experienced less REM sleep than the Apollo 13 crew. This year, well, hmmm. What can I say? It's a made up holiday anyway, right? (and tomorrow I'll send my belated Mother's Day card...)

My children and their father have worked hard this year to make this a special day for me. I was awakened to fresh spinach quiche and creamer with coffee (that is not a typo). I was able to complete my morning run without interruption. 2 of 8 organized the troops for quick changes into our Sunday best costumes and we enjoyed a sweet morning at church. Lunch was lettuce wraps at one of my favorite places, followed by a long nap. Currently, the sounds of my kitchen being destroyed all in the name of love and dinner I don't have to prepare are filtering back to my spot in front of the computer.

But I have a Mother's Day confession, maybe one you yourself can share. I have mothered for almost 18 years, been pregnant 10 times, birthed 8 babies, breastfed for going on 10 years (don't do the math--it might freak you out...)and yet I still find myself wondering where the adults are. These kids look to their father and I as the seniors in the groups, the ones who should have the answers, the provision and the ideology, while I keep looking over my shoulder trying to figure out who they're looking to. Pretty heady stuff--especially when high school doesn't seem all that long ago, when I see people chronologically my own age and assume they are older than me. I have known peers who have easily slipped into their roles as grown-ups, chatting up kids, college saving plans and tax shelters with ease. They respond easily to being called 'Mr.' and 'Mrs.', while I still get the giggles. I can be conversant with this group, but I keep waiting for some unseen film director to yell, "Cut! Try to do it with more believability this time, girl! You are supposed to be playing the role of Responsible Adult, replete with answers and confidence!" But all delusions aside, my driver's license states in glaring reality that I am part of the middle age continuum, the beacon for the young and the strength for the old. Little ol' girly me.

My Mother's Day gifts this year are a collection of clues as to my personality. Those of my readers who know me will find this confirming, those readers who know me through my writings will find this collection revealing. Beautiful new bath towels, chocolate non-pariels, peanut M&Ms, vanilla candle, a pedicure, bath salts and lotions, Star Trek postcards and that most ironic of gifts, the Sigmund Freud action figure. I would illumine you more on this collection, but my Mother's Day dinner seems to be taking on a hint of singe and so I must retire to the kitchen and act like I am in charge of this household while still secretly delighted that it still feels like I'm playing house....
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