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A Mother of a Day!

I’m a very important person. Cough. Seriously, ahem, I have a lot of things to do. I have to look at my phone a million times. This coffee isn’t going to drink itself. There’s stuff on Facebook that needs perusal. I’ve got old nail polish on my toesies. There’s a sad birdhouse devoid of any paint whatsoever that is calling to me from across my dusty living room. My sorta fat dogs need walking. My sorta fat self needs walking. And there’s writing to do, laundry to sort, rooms to clean, gratitude to send up, bills to pay, calls to make, meditation to occur, kids to pick up, a muffin top to be lamented, friends to text, tv to watch, calls from the Hollywood powers-that-be that are reading my work to not come in, meals to make, dishes to clean, showers to take, and on and on and on…

So, here we are post-Mother’s day and what is still fresh in status updates and in the still-hanging-on bouquets on every mother’s table are the rosy depictions of moms as selfless, superhuman, pinnacles of virtue and love, flawless perfections of divinity. And on and on. Cough. And, you know, I was thrown into that bunch of goddesses. I got breakfast in bed and didn’t have to grocery shop and I ate expensive cheese and teared up reading the homemade cards made especially for me. It was beautiful and I deserve it, like all those other deserving moms out there.

But, that day’s in the rearview and real life is here and the minutiae and the grind and all the ‘stuff’ is swirling around. And none of it matters. None of that 'real life, real stuff' matters because my little three and half-year-old booger-infested princess needs me to hold her. My wee little Marigold is sick. Ill with a nasty head cold, fever and pink eye. The trifecta! A hat trick, yo’! Yesterday was the peak. Oozing, slime-filled eyeballs, 102.7 raging temperature and little whimpers from the couch drove me to forego my pledge of diet-induced sobriety and into the hands of a shot and a half of Fireball, a Miller lite, a snotty T-shirt and my child in my embrace.

Ah, motherhood! Mother. Mothering. Mom. The words… they conjure up pastel roses and perfume and brunch. Right?

Yeah, there’s more to the story and of course we all know it, and of course we all know those perfect moms. Right? Today, right now the words conjure up my brave and inspirational friend back East. A single mother of four whose beautiful son, a triplet, was diagnosed with an inoperable, terminal Cancerous tumor at nine months and the harrowing events she underwent fighting for his survival and succeeding (!) a decade plus later with the shining example of boyhood awesomeness that has become a dear friend to my son. And I think of my mother and her five children. I’m biased but I think that gal did a great job. And after all that mothering, now we are scattered around in California and New England. My mother divides her time between us all, almost never being with all five at once. That blows my hair back. The separation. The goodbyes. The division that will, that must happen, that I see happening in my thirteen-year-old son as he gains maturity and doesn’t need me to wipe his boogers anymore. And I think, emotionally, of my two adopted siblings and how much richer my life is for having them in it and what a blessed gift God bestowed one family, when tragically their birth mothers had to say goodbye to them and then place them in my mother's arms. My heart seizes in my chest... One day, a day that will surely come, I will have to say a true and final goodbye to my children. I tend to believe that we’ll meet up again, that in essence it’s not totally goodbye but rather, “see you later in a different form, yo’.” And I hope that is many, many years from now.

But, it’s not today. (There’s still time I know, I’m not asking to be proven wrong here…) But, today, while still smelling the beautiful arrangement of lilies on our dining room table I get to pluck green grunge out of my baby’s eyes as she snuggles in close to me and says, “Mommy, I love you.” I’ll take it. Laundry, Facebook, muffin top, Hollywood be damned - I’m the most important person in someone’s world and it's not for the phony bullshit we fool ourselves into believing is what makes a person important or valuable. It's the real stuff. And today, and everyday, that is ALL that matters. The rest takes care of itself anyway…

© 2016 by Marion McNabb Grace

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