Published May 14, 2012
For all the many, many, things you do: Thanks, Mom
Happy Mother’s Day! If you’re a mom, I hope you’re being spoiled rotten today with flowers, sappy cards and gifts or sentiments that show how much you mean to your children. So kick back, relax and enjoy the attention, because you won’t get another break like this for 364 more days. Mother’s Day is a celebration for all of the times that you have: • Spent an entire day doing nothing but wiping mouths, noses, juice spills and, well, other baby-related stuff. • Chaperoned dances, field trips and classroom parties. • Canceled a hair appointment so that you had enough money for soccer photos, tap dance shoes or baby formula and diapers. • Bawled because you heard a song on the radio that was about a kid going to college, getting married or just growing up. • Gone to a movie theater to watch a flick that was animated, rated PG or based on comic book characters. (Bonus points for moms with tweens and teens who braved long opening night lines for “Twilight” and “Harry Potter” movies.) • Wore dressy clothes and nice shoes to your son’s baseball practice because you drove straight from work and didn’t want to miss the first pitch. • Slept in a rocking chair with a fussy baby in your arms. (And, yes, you’re grateful to have gotten some sleep because some nights that doesn’t happen.) • Relearned basic geometry and algebra so that you could check your daughter’s math homework. • Spent a weekend driving to sports games and kid birthday parties. • Stayed up until 3 a.m. sewing patches on scout uniforms and home improvement store aprons or vests. • Hosted play dates for your children. • Kicked in some extra money so that your daughter could have the perfect pair of shoes for prom, or your son and his date could ride in a limo. • Tore the house apart searching for a lost blankie, stuffed animal or other comfort object. • Drove to six different stores to find the right color tights for dance recital, or the specific plush animal that’s on the Christmas list. • Licked your finger and wiped dirt or an unknown crusty substance off your child’s face during school drop-off. • Incorporated children’s artwork into your home decor. Everybody knows that anything made with painted handprints, popsicle sticks and glittery pinecones go with everything, anyway. • Let the kids stay up a little later than usual reading because you – I mean, they – can’t wait another day to find out what happens in the next chapter. • Made a major job decision that was based on what was best for your family. • Filled out lengthy paperwork that requires knowledge of immunization records, emergency contact information and family health history. • Arranged family vacations that revolved around college campus visits, amusement parks or grandparents. • Wondered how your mom made everything look so easy. • Tucked away money for your child’s college fund, first car, wedding or savings account. • Felt isolated because the only conversations you’d had all day were with an argumentative 3-year-old and television’s “Dora the Explorer.” • Changed the background on your cell phone and computer screen to photos of your children. • Spent a day caring for a sick child that included doctor appointments, picking up prescriptions and just hanging out with them on the couch. • Took interest in something that you’re completely not interested in because your child loves it, and you want to be supportive and spend time together. • Worn baby spit, toddler snot and other bio-fashion statements to work. • Made a vehicle purchase that was not based on model or color – but on safety, passenger space and whether there’s ample room to haul a double stroller. • Colored with sidewalk chalk, created masterpieces with clay, and simply played alongside, and with, your child. • Forgotten what life was like before you had children, and feared what it will be like once they grow up and move away. Lisa Pemberton writes about the everyday challenges and rewards of raising three children. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.