Gratitude Sunday: Mother’s Day: The Best We Know

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

Sunday Haiku
Little birds twitter
splashing in my spring puddles
eating baby bugs.

Sunday Musings
Happy Mother’s Day! Mothers are so special having a special day seems superfluous. Mothers are special every day. It’s nice to be acknowledged, but I am not fond of contrived holidays, days where one seems pressured to behave in a certain way. Especially when the focus appears to be consumerism: Spend money on Mom! Gifts are supreme!

Hwell, don’t. Don’t spend money on me. Spend time with me. Regularly. Talk with me. Tell me your plans and dreams, I promise I’ll try not to quash them. Listen when I tell you my stories and advice; I will return the time in kind.

Perhaps we could change the focus of what we can do for moms from consumerism to activism. To look forward and be an active participant in activism we must also listen to people who are young. My mom’s been gone nearly 4 years now and I’d love to hear her voice again. To see her face. To hold her hand. To talk intelligently together about how we’d change the world to save the people of the world and our planet, or about the book we just read, or about something we didn’t know about each other and were finally adult enough to share.

I didn’t know everything about my mom; she had many secrets she couldn’t bear to tell. I suspect I wouldn’t bear hearing them without crying for her, so just as well she didn’t share. I did know her well enough to know she would be appalled at our current political situation, especially the treatment of women. I know she would be encouraging me in my efforts to work for human rights and the health of the planet. I know she supported all women, whether they were mothers or not.

Mom did everything she could to support the efforts of my sister and me to succeed in this patriarchal society. She begged us to go back to and finish college. She did the same for my brothers as well, but she knew how much harder it all is for women with the double burden of primary care for the home and family as well as outside work.

This Mother’s Day I struggle with helping the son in the working society. He is between jobs. He has no college degree (and thus no student debt, which he insists on until he can figure out another way). He has so much going for him: he owns a GED, he is an Eagle Scout, he has the energy of youth, he is smart and intelligent, he is averagely attractive, he is personable, and he is empathetic. He is also a critical thinker who thinks for himself, and he is not intimidated from calling foul if such is the truth. Those lovely individual qualities don’t always get you a job. There are jobs out there for people with these kinds of qualities, he just hasn’t found the one for him yet.

I am at a lack to help him sufficiently. He’s 24 now, and I keep trying to step back, to let him find his own adult way, but like many mothers I can’t help but want to wave my pretty magic wand (remember my pretty pretend magic wand?) and get him that perfect job, the perfect life. I also am not in any position to bestow my [non-existent] financial affluence upon him. Where would the adventure be for him if I did that? I tell him now it’s been proven beyond any shadow of doubt his chances of becoming President of the United States are better than ever before in his or my lifetimes. Even though he hasn’t inherited money, he has wits. There would be an adventure.

I am selfishly busy with my own transition, moving toward retirement and the changes of moving my husband and myself into Medicare and trying to find ways to pay off my mortgage sooner rather than later. My life does not concern my son; he has no idea how hard this is for me. I remember being his age when EVERYTHING was about me and learning and making my adult way. I had little (read: no) time for my parents. Only as I became older did I realize the importance of sharing time with my aging parents and I am so grateful for the time I spent with them before they passed. I’d love to hear their stories all over again and to ask about others I’m curious about.

This is an important time for him. He has to find his own way; I’ve already been there, and I know how hard it is. I’ve had plenty of parenting failures in the past, we won’t count through those as we don’t get re-dos, right? Now, I can only provide a base for him while taking care of myself during my own transition, a base he can come to when he needs to, anytime he needs to. I can be the rock, the anchor, the port in whatever storm besets him. I can be the fridge full of food, the hot shower, the washer and dryer of clean clothes. I can be the ear to try ideas on. I can be the mouth who encourages or suggests which ideas to try or follow through on. All these things my mom did for me.

One day, if I live long enough, the tide will change. He’ll see, maybe, how a few minutes or hours invested in your old parents are worth every minute in the long run. I realized it long before I became a parent, and one does not have to become a parent to see the value of your own. Some parents aren’t worth that time, but I’m not talking about those unfortunate people now. You must protect yourself. I like to think of myself as a parent who did her best, even though, like all parents, I barely knew what I was doing.

Even though we didn’t know what we were doing, we survived. In defense of the lack of knowledge most people approach parenting with, most of us don’t come through this life without damage. Some of us are born damaged, some become damaged, yet the perpetrators of those quirks and phobias in our personalities are not always the result of parenting. An example would be the damage a bully does. And sometimes there simply seems to be no explanation why a person suffers low self-esteem or becomes mentally ill. It’s not always the parent’s fault; the village can be a great big damaging world and in many cases we are trained not to tell.

Moms (and dads) do the best job they can without an instruction booklet. We learn as we go along, but isn’t that true of everything we do? Until we do it we don’t know how. And even if we did it before, things can change every time you do it again. That’s OK. Spending time together doesn’t change and benefits all involved. Every day is a new day, a new adventure, a new way, a new chance to grow and learn. Spend time with Mom!

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Purple speckled throat in creamy white Sappho rhododendron. I admire the hot pink blossoms of this tree every year and still don’t know its name. Wild flowers are beautiful too! White clovers in a neighbors lawn. Red speckles on a purple blossom rhododendron.

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Moonlight (2016, rated R), winner of 2016 Academy Award Best Movie and I can see why. The movie handles difficult topics like drug use and sexuality with a tempered hand, and the sexuality was beautifully filmed and underplayed. Recommended. * American Honey (2016, rated R), in which I realize I am so far away from youth culture as to be laughable, and there are many families out there who are waaaay more dysfunctional than mine. This almost three hour movie dragged through a group of throw-away kids who sell magazines to make a living. I was grateful for the fast forward button for the two explicitly detailed sex scenes (sorry, other people having sex does not entertain me) and through the last of the movie. The only plot I could determine was who was hooking up with whom and the games and revenge when changes take place, maybe? Meh. * The Girl on the Train (2016, rated R) with Emily Blunt. Having recently read the novel I was interested to see the movie interpretation. Here is a British author writing a novel about London and its outlying suburbs accessible by train and the movie takes place in New York. What?!? Perhaps the producers thought an Americanization would make the movie a better seller, but for this viewer it was disconcerting to expect one thing and get another through “theatrical license”. Did the American setting improve the story? For one thing, in my imagination when I read the book I saw the houses as much smaller and the movie gives us mini-McMansions on acre-sized lots; we are treated to the vision of American affluence, now so hard to attain and maintain. A few characters in the book were completely absent in the movie which is not unusual, but the setting change completely threw me. The movie was mediocre, not very thrilling mystery-wise as far as visuals, even though I’d read the book and knew the plot, or perhaps because of. Meh. * Sleeper hit of the week for me was The Dressmaker (2015, rated R) with Kate Winslet. Picked this up as a fluke from my local lending library from the “best seller” shelf. A dark comedy mystery set in 1951 rural Australia, a small town, an unsolved mystery, murders, and haute couture. There is also love and truth and though I don’t usually advocate revenge, the revenge that takes place oddly satisfies my sense of justice. Strangely I laughed out loud at the twists and quirks of the plot. Recommended.

Currently ReadingThe Book of Joan (2017, fiction) by Lidia Yuknavitch. GAAHH. Recommended. If it wasn’t due back at the library for the next person waiting in queue, I’d read it again. * Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living (2017, authors and economic aspects) by edited by Manjula Martin, a collection of essays by published authors. Just starting, always researching. So far, stories of authors in poverty. Writing is such an iffy business I’m amazed writers make any money at all. Really tough to make a living with art and no formulae for success.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • The fragrance of lilacs. I wish I could have it year round. I cut a large bunch just before they faded and brought them inside. I think the aroma is making its forever home in my nasal passages.
  • Not being generally allergic to pollens, tree, flower, grass, or otherwise.
  • Enjoying the fragrances of flowers and trees and grasses and otherwise.
  • Waking up.
  • Enjoying several lovely spring days, all in a row.
  • Surviving another trip into the greater Portland area. Life is interesting with so many people in a hurry.
  • Remembering sometimes there are no easy answers or solutions and learning to trust the process.
  • A possible work opportunity which could be an exciting use of my skills and a learning experience as well.
  • People who take the time to listen.
  • People who take the time to explain.
  • People who are empathetic and do their best to avoid being judgmental.
  • Two fat bags of the sweetest juiciest lettuce, a dozen fresh eggs from a gardener I trust, a small bunch of white tipped radishes and the sharp rich earthy taste of the radishes I remember my Dad growing when I was a child.
  • My friends who aren’t mothers yet who help parent the world. I love you all.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, Family, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, Nature, Parenting, Photography, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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