My Mom looks at her hands constantly….she touches them, rubs and worries over them, she will even comment that her hands look so bad. I beg to differ with her…I consider them the strong symbols for a life lived, proof of her endurance.
Yet she, seems surprised by the look of them….I know why, it is a daily reminder of the days lived, her age can’t be hidden from her hands. All the beauty products in the world can’t conceal the well worn years, lipstick and blush can paint in our youth but, our hands reveal our true self.
Now that she has been overcome by the perils of Alzheimer’s, her life has shifted, she no longer is …”I am woman, hear me roar!”, a pseudo strength that propelled her to raise kids and work after divorce when not everyone was so understanding of her independence…she is although, still somewhat the master of her domain even within the realm of her small world now, it is baffling and yet touching to see these hardworking hands lend comfort to her new friends.
She extends kind words and a soft touch, holding the hands of those precious souls who have her same disease, maybe a little farther gone but, still in need of a friend. I witness hands that once cooked great food and that held my hands across my life, now helpful in the lives of others. She is showing kindness and love and actually ministering there in this home where she lives. I asked her once about her relationship with God, she quickly set me straight….”……..how do you think I ever got through my life without trusting in God!!!!!!!!” Special emphasis on the exclamation marks….she set me in my place! I will forever have hope that was her testimony and now her hands are His hands extended there in her world.
Although she frets the aged-ness revealed in her hands, I enjoy the touch of her gentle hands, the mother’s love that I long for, for which i felt I didn’t always get as much as I wanted, I am blessed to receive now. I find myself noticing my hands more, a few age spots….dang Sun worship.…now I know why Southern Belles wore those cute white gloves….should have thought that one out…oops. I am learning how important it is to connect with people, be present at the moment, especially now when the few moments I get to sit with her are running low.
Life is a gift…..our parents are gifts…..our children and grandchildren are our joy…..Life goes full circle. (I feel like I am about to break out singing The Lion King …….and no one wants that to happen!!!!)
But, I will say one line from an old song…..”put your hand in the hand of man that stilled the water…” and in the hand of someone who needs it. Thanks Mom for holding mine….still.
In honor of Mother’s Day I feel compelled to give the real and freakishly truthful NEWS about motherhood. This is not only a gripe session but is a call out to all the sensible mothers out there.
Being a mother is the hardest job in the world but also the most rewarding. We women are pretty special. We create people in our womb. Yes, we need help from the guys but still pretty awesome nonetheless! I see it as a great honor as well as a place of great responsibility.
I am not amused by the happy-go-lucky attitude of some people. This brings me to the point …
Y’all had to take something so sweet and turn it into a curiosity, a non-news event.
Report on news that will cause us all to have good jobs or how to be millionaires in ten easy steps or something equally as moronic.
For Pete’s sake, we’ve been doing this for years. Y’all just now figuring all this out!?! I don’t remember anyone doing an expose’ on me nursing my four kids!
It is nauseating — your compelling news story on the FRONT PAGE is asking — am I mom enough!?!
Is this the deciding factor? Nursing or staying attached longer to our children?
Do not get me wrong. I am all for it, breast-feeding that is. I had this honor — times four. It was joyful and precious and sweet and a special time in my life. I think any woman who chooses to experience this should be commended and honored, as well as those who choose not to.
It is each women’s “RIGHT” to choose what they do with their own body, if I am not mistaken. At least that is what I heard growing up in the ’60’s and I do still believe to this day. I also believe we all have a moral compass which guides us in all areas of our womanhood.
What happened to good taste and etiquette?
I do think that it shouldn’t be anything goes, which brings me to this article. Since when do we feel the need to broadcast one of the most intimate things between a woman and her child? What happened to the element of good taste?
Many years ago, when I was a young mother, still nursing my first-born, we had another couple over for dinner. About the time for dessert, the woman “whips out her left breast” and begins to nurse her baby right there at the dinner table!
My husband, being a man of great strength, looked straight ahead at me, never staring at this woman directly (much like the sun) while watching me nearly blow a gasket. No blanket to cover up, nothing! How rude could she be? Apparently VERY RUDE!
When I finally commented on it, the only answer I got was, “it is as natural as can be!”
BULL — she was an exhibitionist!
Don’t get me wrong. It is natural. And if I lived in the jungles of Africa, and that was the norm, then, by all means, I would be whipping it out with all the other women. They also had to carry big baskets on their heads and draw water miles away from their home and so on. We live in a MODERN WORLD here in America! I would like to see her work like a mule in that culture — selective freedoms I say!
God has blessed us with smart people who invented indoor plumbing and wagons to haul stuff and nice little comfortable recliner chairs — and doors with locks, behind which to go and nurse our babies in peace and quiet. We can enjoy this precious time with our little ones — instead of being out in a noisy room with people gawking at us. That cannot be peaceful and satisfying for babies.
Am I wrong here?
The unabashed drama of women who swagger around like Joan of Arc to prove a point — to prove they can! Oh Lordy, makes me want to choke. And, just in case anyone reads this and thinks — what a prude — wrong, so very wrong! I am the least prudish person you would ever meet. I have no false pride and am very aware of the world around me. That is the problem.
Back to the story …
I knew then this chick, who felt so free to sprawl out in front of God and everybody, was going to be a pill. A few years later this woman proved me right.
She managed to cause pain and discourse through her own family. Mostly, because she didn’t want anyone to be the boss of her! Give me a break! She had no character. And, if she had, she would have been more discreet about what is one of the most lovely acts any woman can perform.
These babies that we are given deserve the attention they should receive, not in a hurry up and get this done fashion, or as if they’re in the way of our lives. Take the time to nurture them.
So, after seeing this magazine cover, I must say it has become an homogenized world out there. Take something so sweet and make it mundane and common. Take all the goodness out of it and add in filthy stares and glares.
I promise you this, as the mother of three men, they were not looking at the picture with “oh how sweet that is” eyes. It was more like, what a babe! Wish that kid wasn’t in the way!
Once again, sex sells! Can’t fight city hall, I guess.
Furthermore, as if my rant hasn’t been enough, a word on the principle of “the attachment philosophy.”
Heaven help us!
Take it from a mother who nurtured ’til the cows came home, I couldn’t have been a more cuddly or huggy or kissy or allow my kids to pile up in the bed with us parent. We absolutely smothered them with attention and affirmation as well as a good whippin’ when they needed it. Not that I condone that. I have evolved! And, I wish we hadn’t, but we learn from this and it wasn’t done harshly. Just hard to think of it now.
Although, ours were normal kids with all the lies and trouble three kids can cause. We were a very close family and still are so we must have not done too badly with them.They are still pretty darn clingy, which I must say I love — most of the time!
I do feel that the twenty years (ugh!) I stayed home with them may have been better if I had left them a bit more. As I look back, a tour of duty at a daycare may not have been too harmful. It could have toughened them up. Helped them learn some street smarts and how to fend for themselves. My kids were woefully unprepared for real life and they weren’t even home schooled! (No offense to home schooled kids. That is just the banter people say — that they won’t be socialized enough!) My kids were socialized. I just think they were attached to me too much, which was my own doing I know! Mother guilt hard at work!
So when I see the front cover of a national magazine with a picture of a three-year-old boy attached to his momma‘s breast, I want to yell, “come talk to me in twenty years!!” I’ll be saying, “How’s that working for ya!”
Happy Mother’s Day to all the girls out there who have sacrificed their lives, bodies and heart for their children. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it was all worth it but I wouldn’t have minded not losing my twenty-something body. Yes, I am blaming my four for that!
Growing up in a large family can be at best, the most awesome time of ones life and at the worst, the most awesome time of ones life! I can speak of this first hand since I am the youngest child in a family of five kids. Yes the answer is clear now……the reason why I am what I am….I am the youngest child which makes me….the BABY! The last and bottom rung of the ladder….the bottom step in the stair steps of young uns’ in our family. But, someone had to be the first step…the jumping off point, if you will, to the beginnings of our clan which brings me to my thoughts for this day.
This is the special day that my big brother was born…nine years before me…the leader of the pack! I can not even describe the amount of adoration I have always had for my brother. It was borderline sheer worship at different times in my life…..who could blame me? He is the only son, my only brother and as old as he is in reference to me…that nine years was a huge gap. A gap that has always been more like a “grand canyon-esque” hole and I spent most of my teenage years yearning for his attention. Sadly he wasn’t there….at nineteen he volunteered and entered the Vietnam War.
Needless to say It was very hard to see him leave. Timing is everything. This exodus coincided with the season of change our family was in. My father had left us, high and dry, so to speak, they sold my beloved farm and my Mom, Me and two sisters moved “to town”. Since we lived in the country it was a big deal, at least to me. City schools and city kids and a world of adventure as well as fear.It’s tough on those mean streets!
My brother went through all his basic training and ended up becoming an ARMY helicopter pilot which no one was more prouder than me. But he gave up so much, he was in college, left his home and family but to him he probably chose the lesser of the two worlds. Life was hard for the oldest child back then, this beautiful boy who grew up fishing and hunting as well as being made to work like a mine mule. I think he was living the dream on one hand on our beloved farm but still having to “man up” to my father’s demands.
I was always intrigued by his bedroom and always wanted to sneak in there and see what secrets it held. I was reminded of his room many years later when I opened the door of my eldest sons room and there was an undeniable “boy scent!” It took me straight back to those days of standing at my brother’s door daring myself to enter in……chicken as I was I never did, but that scent of sweaty man boy was the same. Funny how things like that stick in your mind or should I say senses, just like the fact I can’t pick up a book without smelling it. Yep, I am weird! His kingdom was one that I had never trod but I desperately wanted in. The next few years were filled with anticipation and fear. I can not even bear to feel the pain our Mom must have felt knowing her baby was so far away in a War. This is one emotion I never want to feel. Breaks my heart for her but he seemed to take it in stride and had a big adventure….in case anyone ever wondered…he was the one who saved so many people as well as single-handed kept the bad guys at bay. He was/is an American HERO and there has never been any question about that.
When he came back from defending the American Way (Superman wasn’t the only one!) he went and met a girl and got married! About the time I thought he was coming back home…to ME! he gets married!!! Who does she think she is….. this hateful girl…I was not happy about this news and I was in a pout for a good while…even when I went to the wedding, I acted okay but I was mad on the inside. I had lost him for ever! I was never going to really get to know him. Probably a good thing because if I had ever learned of his frailties or human-ness I may have been crushed. In my world he is larger than life. Nobody had a greater big brother than me and if they ever tested that fact I would prove them wrong….I had my list of his bravery! I did get a few bonuses…the time he came home in his Shelby Cobra and he picked me up at high school….boy was that a thrill and I had to be the coolest Oakland High School girl ever! I eventually accepted this chick who stole my brother…..truthfully, I LOVED HER! She was kind and very sweet to me, I couldn’t keep from loving her. A few years later they made me an aunt and I was even more enamored with this beautiful little boy. Then they had another boy and these two were precious.
Later on they were transferred to a base closer to home which was great. I was able to go there to visit, stay the weekend and one time I was invited to go on base to a dance with them. Although I was a little disappointed because none of the guys gave me much attention…someone said it was because I was his sister and the word was…steer clear! So in that case, I wasn’t offended….even though I thought I was pretty cute back then…(ha-ha) it was even better that he was being protective. Ahhhh the best feeling ever! Though I think if my memory serves me I ended up figuring out how to bypass his protection….I was in college for Pete’s sake…a gal’s gotta flirt!
I have always been a little sister and have been blessed with great siblings who never really picked on me, they always nurtured me and looked out for me and my love for them all is BIG. My brother was always kind of mystery which probably was a preview to marrying a man…..seems like they all are a mystery to some extent. I always compared every guy I ever dated to my brother. Sadly my father wasn’t my role model, I loved him but he was absent enough to not be first and foremost. My brother was the perfect Man in my world. Oh the mocking I have endured because of my gushing about my brother. I just take it in stride and proudly laugh because I know he is amazing and I don’t care who I tell.
The years have kept us apart but he was there for me to walk me down the aisle on my most important day. The sweetest part was when I stated, as we were nearly walking in that…” I didn’t want to do all this!” meaning walking in and being stared at (the most embarrassing thing on earth) he quickly responded…”if this isn’t what you want we can go right out the back door!” AWEEE how sweet! “NO” I said, “I want to marry him I just don’t want to be stared at!” I really was bashful way back when!! So after I explained, we were good to go. he held my hand and I was so proud to have him by my side. It was just like I was a fairy princess. My favorite man was taking me to my new favorite man….it doesn’t get much sweeter than that. There have been other times in my life since then that he has been there for me…I have called him to pour out my heart, ask for help and counsel and sometimes just to shoot the breeze. Not that he is a big talker…but he is a good listener…not that he could get a word in edge wise with me anyways!
Distance and time has been the enemy of our relationship as it is for most siblings. We grow up and away, create new lives apart from our childhood, but I cant help but feel like the squirt kid sister when I am with them all at one time. I bow to their pecking order, keep my place and enjoy the placement of my step in this stair step world of brothers and sisters. We know each other in a unique way…we know each others history, real or like-real in our own minds. I know my fantasy life I built around my brother is mostly just that. But it is my memory and I can keep it in my heart just the way I want to.
Happy Birthday Big Brother! I love you and am proud to know you. You have enriched my life more than you will ever know.
My darling daughter let me in on her private (not so much any more) secret that makes her giggle every time she calls me on her cell phone. I must say it is pretty funny although it does involve mean and cruel jokes at my expense. It appears that on her phone she can type the word MOM and the numbers that show up are 666!
“NO WAY!!!” I respond but, to my dismay it is true! Kinda makes you wonder about, way back when Alexander Graham Bell was toying with this new fangled idea of a way to communicate…the Telephone, he possibly…”accidentally”….. “on purpose”… worked it out that the “O” and “M” letters would be on the same key and end up with the dreaded sign of the ANTICHRIST! He could have quite easily had “M and N” on a number and let “O” dangle over there with “P”...I mean he was the one designing the darn thing!
Could it have been that the memories of his own sainted mother rang out in a nagging voice, during this time of inspiration and invention, reminding him of all the late night sessions of creativity of his godly mother (telling him to turn the light off and go to bed!)….who only loves her son Alex and wants him to get a good nights sleep and eat well and do good in school and meet a nice girl and settle down and…and…and….all those things mothers for centuries have wanted for their children…could it be that he might have possibly jumbled those letters up all on one number, just to have his own private joke?I shutter to think it and at the same time I would be so proud of him!
Or was this just the luck of the draw and became a treat for all those kids who just now and then need a laugh? Odds are good that is the case but it is comforting, as a mother, that my kids are overjoyed when they type my name in their phone and be reminded…..”don’t mess with ME….I am dangerous!!!” Children have really so little true power, ultimately we do hold the keys to the kingdom and it is little comfort to them to once in a while they get to …”stick it to the MAN!”…or MOM in this case.
It has not been that long ago (well, I am lying it has, go with me here!) that I was one of those kids and I too would have liked to get my mom once in a while. I seem to remember a dread full pleated skirt that I thought made be look huge…I was like 4’11” and weighed probably all of 98lbs….yep I was soooo huge! Makes me gag thinking how skinny I once was! But to me, then..those pleats all the way around that ugly skirt were awful! and I NEVER WORE THE SKIRT!…never even had the tags off, hung in my closet till it eventually disappeared. Send it to the poor girls around the world that “would love to have a nice ugly skirt”….but I did hear about it over and over…blah, blah,blah!
But because ..what goes around comes around, I too have my wars with my precious God sent angel face little girl and I think it probably was over an outfit. Funny how I have so little memories of those arguments with my own daughter…hmm, selective memory I would guess! The last time I mentioned that atrocious skirt of mine to my MOM she rolled her eyes and had no memories of it either….ouch, I feel ya Momma!
The great thing about this funny quip is that we all dial that MOM number a lot….and the coincidence is just that and I hope that my girl never stops. Just don’t fret I am a writer ya know! I have my ways to retaliate!!