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Thinking about Mother's Day: please don't buy anything


It's hard to miss Mother's Day. The commercials are hammering it home. I saw a billboard yesterday along the expressway from an asphalt company: "Wishing you a pot hole free Mother's Day." That sure was warm and fuzzy. Thanks, guys.

Sometimes, I am the most unsentimental mother in the world. I didn't keep every precious card my kids made me, those sticky construction paper and glue creations. If you ask me how much my kids weighed at birth, I'll have no idea (I wasn't there remember: adoption.) Even still, my blase' attitude about that last fact has shocked some moms.

Other times, I tear up just thinking about a kid. That time my youngest came home from school adamant that we needed to go to the funeral home that night. A 4th grade classmate's mother has died, and my boy said he needed to be there for his friend.

Waiting for my Curly-haired daughter to get here! She's coming home, since the big move to South Carolina in January. I can't wait to put my arms around her!

One of the reasons I'm not very big on Mother's Day is that I spent so many years feeling miserable on that day. Wondering why we'd been saddled with infertility, I could barely face the idea of going to Mass and having the priest ask the mothers to stand for a blessing. I just wanted to cry out: "Why not me??"

I've always wondered about my kids' birth mother. What must Mother's Day feel like to her? She's a mother, but she's not. That's a weird (and I imagine, sometimes painful) club to belong to. I do pray for her, and am thankful to her for choosing to have those kids that I had the great honor to raise. N: you have my eternal thanks and gratitude - truly.

Then, there are those of us who've lost our moms. No phone call on Sunday, no flowers ordered. Just a pang of sadness and loss. A yearning for Heaven.

Now that my kids are young adults, parenting is of course, very different. Sometimes, it's just a call for a "loan" - rent is due and budgets are stretched. It's cooking for them, and just simply enjoying watching them around the table, laughing, eating. That's good. Really good.

Then there was last night. Almost home, and I got a call that Youngest Son had hurt his hand and needed to have it looked at. Well, the numbskull punched a wall - and found the stud. No breaks, thankfully. He was so overwrought, he never shut up the entire time. Finally, as we were nearing home, he seemed to relax a bit. We also found out he's lost 30 lbs. in the past three months, and on a 6'7" frame, that's not good. "I eat," he says. I don't think junk food bought at the gas station is doing it for him. So, put "Buy groceries for kid once a month" on the to-do list. I sat in the waiting room with him yesterday thinking, "How LONG am I gonna have to do this?? This kid is 20!"

I don't need any cards. I don't want jewelry (I have plenty!) I"d like to hug each kid and tell them how much they mean to me. They likely won't allow that.

This is what I'd like for Mother's Day: to remember all those who want to be mothers and can't, to pray for the moms who have hard kids (impaired, special needs, prodigal, imprisoned), and to wrap my own kids in my arms. I don't need anything else.

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