Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Your Attitude Sucks and Motherless Mothers and Mother's Day. 3 Issues, One Post. You're Welcome.

I love how my sweet first born announces her plans. She never asks. It is beneath her to do so.

The announcement yesterday, complete with haughty tone and don't-even-mess-with-me-sister look was about ballet, which I thought was a negligible issue to take such a stand on, but so be it.

I will not be going to ballet, she informs me. This was my greeting, as she had just walked in the door.

Well, hello, sunshine.

After several debates, and much prayer on my part, I grabbed my watering can and slammed out the front door, with "YOU BETTER CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE GIRL BECAUSE IT SUCKS AND ALSO GET YOUR CLOTHES ON BECAUSE WE ARE GOING TO BALLET" trailing on my lips. There are two things I'd like to say about this exchange: 1) I do feel bad about saying someone's attitude sucks, but sometimes a mother has to call a spade a spade. And 2) It's easier to make an ultimatum such as "OH YES WE ARE BLAH BLAH BLAH" and then slam out of a door in your home, because then you don't hear the argument that has been locked, loaded and shot back at you. And sister, if you don't hear it IT DIDN'T HAPPEN.  TRUST ME. Ignorance is bliss sometimes.

You need to know my girl is such a sweet little thing, she really is. She melts my heart, and I know one day we will spend afternoons laughing over silly little incidences, like the day I called her a butthole. And also saying things like your attitude sucks. Neither of which I say I did with pride, only with a crooked smile that admits hey, mama makes mistakes, too. However. Yesterday afternoon, after she did get in the car for ballet, there was no laughing. And she assured me that not only would she be mad at me for the rest of the day, but that yes, she would be mad at me for the Rest. Of. Her. LIFE. Like, forever. 

My husband sent me a funny text while I was gone over the weekend. Let me preface this story with a bit of advice. If you are a man and you wear too-short shorts, then today is the day I am offering you a way out. Because if you are a man and you wear too-short shorts, it needs to stop. Anyways, while Krogering for things I won't buy but Jon probably will (kidding, y'all), a too-short shorts-wearing man was spotted by my daughter, who, wide-eyed and also speechless, turned to her daddy and said three words I will never, ever forget: MOM. WAS. RIGHT.

Priceless.

I have been there, too. Like when I realized there might be chance my grandma might be a little bit crazy, and I thought dang, mom was right. And when I realized having a baby and a marriage was hard, hard work, and I thought mom was right. And when I realized that having my sister as my best friend, which I had taken for granted for all those years, was one of the most precious gifts anyone could ever have given me, and I thought mom was right. When I look at the sky and see rays of sunshine and think about how she called them "fingers of God". How her faith became the most important journey she ever went on. How she loved horses and art and her girls (but not cleaning house, no) and her God, and I think man, mom was right. While I had a few opportunities, with my limited knowledge and maturity, to acknowledge her wisdom, my nods to her mothering and life experiences were few.

I wish I had the chance to say hey, mama, you sure were right. And then I'd add a "yo" at the end of my sentence because that is exactly the kind of thing that would drive her crazy (we only speak proper english in this house, and yo, ain't, and cain't are not words), and then we'd laugh and laugh over me driving her crazy.

It's kind of strange how things work out in life. One minute you think you have the whole world sitting in the palm of your hands, and the next, everything is ripped away before you can even say stop. The loss of a loved one suspends those who are left in time, like a twilight zone, looking around and wondering where do we go from here?

I thought I had it all together when I was a young mother. Easy peasy. And the things I didn't know (psh, whatever), I picked up the phone and called my mama. But now we are missing a generation and I'm missing a mother, but I'm still a mother, and sometimes, I'd like to know where do I go from here? She told me she'd be mad at me forever. Where do I go from here? She informs and never asks. Where do I go from here? 

Whoever would have thought I'd be a motherless mother? We are a unique group, those who have lost a young parent as a young child or young adult. Sometimes I think we are lost, vaguely swimming in an ocean, learning to live minus our inflatable arm swimmies, and searching for the person you know went years giving you the last piece of her favorite kind of pie. And when that yearly celebration other people call Mother's Day rolls around, we are disoriented, because while we should be celebrated as mothers, we should also be celebrating our own mothers, yet we have no one to celebrate. Yes, of course we can celebrate the wonderful people who have stepped in as role models and place-keepers for our moms, but nobody can replace the person who gave birth to her kids and subsequently her whole life to her family, and the day just doesn't feel quite right. Like Shell Silversteins The Missing Piece. I'm lookin' for my missing piece. hi-dee-ho, here I go, I'm lookin' for my missin' piece. 

There are lots of things I don't like about living in a fallen world, among them being suffering and injustice. And death. Death is a big one that I don't like. But every time I hear Carrie Underwood's song See You Again I cry, because I'm sad and I'm happy and I'm angry and overwhelmed by the emotion of it all, because God's truth is that I will see my mom again. And I will no longer be a motherless mother. I will be able to be whole, face-to-face with my Maker, and I know my mom will be there. So for the time being, I must be content and find joy with the card I've been handed. He must think I can handle it; otherwise, it wouldn't be mine to hold. And he knows that great things can come, if only I will look to Him and not to loss.

This Mother's Day, take a minute to give your mom a big hug, and then, if you think about, take a minute to say a prayer for all the ones, young and old, who will have a to wait just a little while longer to do the same.

Sometimes I feel like my heart is breaking
But I stay strong and I hold on cause I know
I will see you again
This is not where it ends.
{see you again, carrie underwood}

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