Sunday, May 9, 2010

Manicure Day

How often do you get a manicure?

I never do.  My nails are paper thin. The minute even the slightest bit of white begins to show they begin to split and peel.  I'm sure it's diet related---isn't every thing now days?

But today I had a homemade manicure. Although it wasn't my nails, but my soul, that needed pampering.   I got outside this afternoon and began digging.  Mother's Day is always when new potatoes can be found.  It's like searching for buried treasure.  I spent an hour on my knees plunging into the soil.  Each time I would pull out another potato I would smile. 

I was looking forward to this Mother's Day.  I don't want to sound selfish, but it was the first one of my life that got to be about me.  You see I didn't grow up in the Cleaver's house of the 50's or the Brady's house of the 60's.  Nope I never had the city apartment of Julie and Barb in the 70's.  And the Huxtable's house? Well, that place was just a myth.

You see each of those mothers worked to build bonds.  They built up their children every chance they got and made sure they knew that family came first.  June, Carol, Ann and Clair were all very different people, but they all had a common bond----family.  No matter how bad the situation each 30 minute episode would end up in a neatly wrapped up reminder that you mattered.  You were an important part of the family.  Home was the safe place.  Even when Julie told Barbara to shut up for the tenth time, Barbara still belonged.

So back to me!  For years my mom and I struggled to see that bond.  The majority of the those days we both fell short.  When I was younger I saw her actions as a way of protecting me from those who didn't care enough.  As I became a teenager it became a battle for attention.  If I didn't agree with something I was selfish.  If I got my feelings hurt I was a brat.  If I was embarrassed I was a snob. As an adult I just knew I would never fix it.

I carried that luggage with me for years.  So before Mother's Day I would go to Hallmark (because I'm supposed to care enough to send the very best) every year.  And I would stand there in front of the cards for what seemed like days.  Some years were easy.  "I'll go the humor route!" I'd decide.  I'd pick my card and move on. The gift is were I could shine.  I knew my mom.  I knew what she liked to do, where she liked to get pampered, even her sizes.  I put thought into the gifts every year, even if I was feeling a little bitter.

And then the day came.  I would take my offering to her; wherever she was. She would say thanks. I would say your welcome and that was it. "Whew! Made it through another year."

Oh did I forget to mention that I was always invited to read the fabulous card my brother got her.  I love my brother.  He is a great, loving man!  But, he and my mom had something I never had with her.  And every time I read those sappy, 'Mom you are the best', 'I will cherish the memories we've made' cards it was like she was stabbing me.  I would smile while inside I was yelling at myself, "You're a brat.  Don't be selfish, you think you are better than everyone."  WE GREW UP IN THE SAME HOUSE!!!  We have the same parents!  How did we have such separate childhoods?

I began to believe everything she ever taught me.  I was selfish. I was a brat.  I didn't matter because everyone was different than me.

And then I became a mom.  I was a new person.  This was MY child.  No one got to decide how our relationship was going to develop except for me.  I was safe and protected.

I take my job as mom very serious!  It drives every decision I make.  That fabulous child God gave me is the center of my world and has been for 17 years.  It's not a perfect relationship, but it is wonderful.  I wouldn't know how to "be me" without being Kody's mom.  I give him 100%.  I make mistakes, but when I do there is always an apology.  I vowed to him in the hospital room that I would ALWAYS put him first.

It hasn't always been easy.  I have failed on days.  I have been less patient then I wanted to be. I have been too lenient at times and overbearing at others.  And as he is growing I feel our relationship changing.  He's always adored his dad. That's the way it should be.  Boys and their daddy's NEED to be close.  I love that.  I have helped feed that relationship.  I have never really be jealous of it because he's also been Mama's Boy!

I don't feel that so much anymore.  I feel like I'm becoming someone he HAS to put up with to get what he wants.  But that's just teenager, right?  They all think the world is out to get them. They all refuse to admit when they are wrong.  And they all grow out of it.

But, on Mother's Day this year it's MY DAY.  I didn't go and by the fake card.  I didn't rearrange my schedule to please anyone else.  I'm the mom.  It's about me.

Well, it's just another Sunday.  It's not about me.  No one stopped what they were doing to shower me with affection.  I didn't even hear, "Happy Mother's Day" until I got to church---- and I was not home alone.

  How did I get to a point where my only child doesn't even think twice about this day?  Why do I feel selfish for even being sad?

I don't know where to go for those answers.  All I know is I'm empty.  My heart doesn't have much left.  I don't like feeling this way.  I hate it, actually.  This episode will have to be continued.  There's no 30 minute wrap up.  Just me trying to be true to what I believe.  Just me trying to be hopeful.  Just me.