Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What I Want for Mother's Day

Must be that time of year. Easter, with its floppy-eared bunnies and blooming lilies, is in the rearview mirror, and summer is tapping at the window.
Store ads tout purses, perfumes and pendants of perfectly entwined platinum hearts.

Mother's Day is fast approaching, if you haven't noticed, and with it, the attendant demands for your wallet. Breakfast foods -- toast waiting to be burned and eggs ready for scrambling -- feature prominently in grocery circulars, and soon restaurants will report an uptick in reservations for Sunday brunch. Well, la de da.

Why would I mock a day set aside to celebrate my accomplishments?
Because, honey, a single, solitary day ain't enough payback.

Yes, time in the trenches has made me a crotchety mama. Skeptical, picky and opinionated, too. So I'm grabbing this space to tell the children what, in my heart of hearts,
I consider true reward for the maddening, humbling experience called parenting.

For Mother's Day, what I really want, what I "deserve" after all those sleepless nights and countless teachers' meetings, after all those Saturday morning baseball games and after-school fundraisers, after all those middle-of-the-night emergency room visits and boo-boos cured with kisses, after all those arguments over cars and curfew,
all those pep talks and prescient warnings, is simple: Your life well-lived.

And this, of course, doesn't happen on just the second Sunday in May. It happens on the third Tuesday in February and on the last Friday in June and in the middle of a long November week, before breakfast and after dinner and all the hours in between. The Mother's Day gift I've earned is a votive candle that flickers bright and steady,
impervious to the buffeting winds of time and temptation.

I want you to be honest and good, conscientious and compassionate. Hardworking would be a plus, and while we're at it, let me throw in other essentials you should have:
a love of God, an appreciation for family and a generosity of spirit.

That's a solid start, but I've earned so much more. So in good times, I want to hear you count your blessings and watch you share your bounty. When it's time for your celebratory two-step, I expect a front-row seat at the party.
(No limelight for me, though. We mothers pull strings surreptitiously.)

During difficult times, of which I know there will be plenty, I hope you display your mettle and your grace, a resiliency learned at my side the hard way.
I expect nothing less than quiet strength and dry humor.

So come Mother's Day, forget the flowers. Drain the mimosas. And, for Pete's sake, don't bother with a schmaltzy card that you rushed to buy on your way over.

Live as I raised you. In this way, you honor me every day.

Written by Ana Veciana-Suarez, family columnist for The Miami Herald


*The Beautiful Life* said...

Oh my word. This could be the best Mother's Day-themed post I've read. And the way you communicate it all! Funny, gritty, yet serious all at once. You did GOOD, girl!

Happy Mother's Day to you!!! :)


stefanie said...

oh,,,, this is soooooo perfect!!!! I am going to make my kids read this!!

Laura said...

This was written by Ana Suarez, a columnist for The Miami Herald- I loved it and thought it was very timely. Glad you're enjoying it!

Kim-Fille de Fleur said...

This is such a great article! I would like to have my kids read it too! My kids are in their early 20's and this could be the hardest time we have been thru. Not because they are doing anything wrong I just want so much for them to make all the right decisions, and to be all that they can be. Just like the article said. I am so glad I came here today. Have a wonderful Mothers day!

Jil~Say It With Roses said...

Enjoyed it thoroughly! All so true and well thought out.
I really thought you wrote it as you write equally as well!

Happy Mothers Day!

Patricia said...

Amen! Thanks for sharing that, so well put.
Patricia Rose-A Potpourri of Fabric, Fragrance and Findings