The Day After Mother’s Day…
(This post appeared originally on Montana Women Writers)
I lost my mother thirteen years ago, and my oldest daughter is about ready to graduate from high school. Mother’s Day has never felt more precious to me than it does this year.
Mothering is a complicated business. The day-to-day of it can range from mildly irritating to “I want to run screaming out of this house.” And those are some of the good days.
But the great days… ah, the great days. They will make your life.
My mother certainly gave me mine. My drive, my focus, my anxieties, my arranging flowers from the garden, all gifts from my mother. And, of course, she taught me how to be a mother in the same way I’ve taught my daughters, who have made their own internal list of what they will repeat and what they will do TOTALLY differently.
What is so particularly sweet about Mother’s Day this year, is the understanding that my full-time job, which I have done with all that I am, is about to be a part-time job at best. To be accurate, the hours have been diminishing for some time now. My girls, 18 and 15, have their own lives in addition to the one we share as a family. But while my hours as Mom have been cut, I’ve been bringing the same level of energy, heart, worry, and enthusiasm to the business of it.
The shift I’ve been gearing up for is the same one my mother had to make. What will our relationship look like when we get to define it ourselves? When the days of signing permission slips and sending lunch money are in the rear view mirror, what’s ahead on the highway?
For my lovely, funny, energetic Ava, there is an entire lifetime ahead with all the joy and complexity the world offers.
For me? I’m old enough to know that I don’t know. But my wish is to hold this Mother’s Day close to my heart and to know that every day after is just as precious.
Happy Mother’s Day