Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

I wrote this post at the table and then finished it in my hotel room on Mother's Day. But I didn't have WiFi in my room, so I just waited to upload it when I got back home.  I've backdated it as well.  I should add that I did later hear more from Michael and Alyssa. And, I spent the rest of the day with Katie, helping her pack, going out to eat at this lovely Italian restaurant in walking distance of her dorm, and then we went for a walk in Central Park.  Lovely.

I've been a mom since 1989. And Mother's Day has been a pretty big deal to me. The first year I was a mom, I invited my mom, my grandma, my mother-in-law all to my house. I gave each of them a dozen Lammes chocolate-dipped strawberries - you know the kind that come in the egg cartons? I felt like I was part of The Club. 

Growing up in Kansas City, my dad made sure we always celebrated Mother's Day in style.  We'd often do our family Mother's Day activities with just our immediate family, but then go to my grandmother's for a big meal.  I remember buying corsages for my mom to wear to Mass, and gifts for her and my grandma.  Then after I had kids of my own, and the military took us all over the country, my mom ended up with the short end of the stick. She had to settle for a flower delivery and a phone call. Good, but not great. 

Since we were far from family, we created our own traditions.  Sometimes it was breakfast out, always there were flowers, gifts and cards. As the kids got older, breakfast in bed became the norm. And now that we've moved back to Texas and my mom is nearby, we have a more multi-generational Mother's Day again. 
Mother's Day 2011
Last year for Mother's Day, I cooked a huge brunch for everyone and then we went out to a show at the Paramount Theatre afterward. I think I may have known then it was going to be some kind of last hurrah. All the kids were home. I focused more on making something for my Mom and I think she had a good time.  It was really just... perfect.

I think I've always identified myself as a mom, first and foremost. It's something I've always known I wanted to be. I expected to have a variety of careers over my lifetime and I have: student, nurse, teacher, entrepreneur, volunteer. But being a full-time mom stayed constant through each of these periods of my life, and in my mind, trumped them all. 

Now, in my self-proclaimed Year of Transition, Mother's Day also takes on a new look. Michael called from Nicaragua last night. My first baby boy is 1500 miles away. His call wasn't really about wishing me a Happy Mother's Day, as much as a call to fill me in on his latest adventures.  But I'm counting it as a Mother's Day call. When we lost the connection, as we usually do, I texted to tell him that it could count as a Mother's Day call - and I think I reminded him. In Nicaragua, they celebrate Mother's Day at the end of the month, so it's a little confusing.

The irony is that I'm sitting at a lovely Sunday Brunch at the Marriott in New York City - all by myself. I've come to New York for Katie's graduation from the New York Film Academy. Since I surprised her yesterday by showing up unannounced, I didn't want to interfere with her afterparty plans. They all went to New Jersey to stay the night at a classmate's house. 

Katie sent me a Mother's Day text this morning when she got up and we plan to spend the day packing her out of her dorm room, take a little walk in Central Park, and maybe do some more sightseeing.
Alyssa, Josh and Ron were planning to take my mom out to breakfast this morning back at home, so I haven't heard from them yet. 

Life morphs and changes all the time, doesn't it? 

And while my FAVORITE Mother's Day consisted of my kids piled on my bed eating breakfast with me, those memories will have to suffice for now. Still, I'm noticing that I simply feel happy and grateful to be their mom. 

So here I sit, sipping my coffee at a table for one in the hotel restaurant.  They're all decked out ready to greet the Mother's Day Brunch crowd.  I thought that would bother me, but I actually feel... content. That's a little surprising, since this transition has been a bit of a melodrama for me.  But my children are all happy and strong, exploring their own lives. They know I love them and I know they love me. A little bit of distance isn't going to change that. But I am going to have to make a shift. Being their mom can't be my primary purpose any more. That phase is done. Frequently, that thought makes me a little teary, because I LOVED that phase! But that's okay. I'm feeling ready to face whatever great things the future has in store for ME. 

Time to get going on that!

Check, please!

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