My mom doesn’t read my blog.
I don’t know why, really, if she even has a reason. I suspect it’s more about the fact that computers to her are for work, are for getting things done. She turns elsewhere for entertainment, books or television, golf. She would find it silly to sit and read her computer.
And it doesn’t bother me that she doesn’t read my blog. I’m often surprised, still, that my dad reads it (hi, Dad!).
So I don’t really have to spend time here wishing her a Happy Mother’s Day. I sent her flowers yesterday, and she and Dad are coming down for brunch today. So I’ll have the opportunity to say it in person — a fact for which I am infinitely grateful. I know lots of women and moms who aren’t lucky enough to be able to tell their moms, face-to-face, to have a great day, to eat a meal with them. My own mother is faced with a unique situation on this Mother’s Day, a mother who probably doesn’t remember that she is a mother.
I don’t have to tell you, who actually read my blog, anything that is great about my mom. Why I love her. Why she is such a treasure. She’s not going to read this.
But you know what? I think I’m going to anyway.
I’ll try to keep it short.
My mom is always there for me. And she’s there in a totally non-intrusive way. When I was planning our wedding, I said to her, “Do you mind if I have it in Pittsburgh?” I had been living in Pittsburgh for 10 years when I got engaged; most of my extended family lives here, as well as my husband’s family.
She didn’t mind at all. She gave me the names and addresses of a few people from Erie she wanted me to invite, but she was totally flexible.
When we were shopping for wedding dresses, she sat quietly while I tried on any number of gowns. Finally, I said to her, “Hey, what would you think if I had my dress made?” She responded, “You know, all these dresses you’ve tried on are very pretty, but they’re not really you.” So we traipsed off to a dress maker I knew and I got the dress I wanted.
When I was talking about Mother’s Day today, one of my co-workers mentioned that she didn’t want to tell her mother where they were taking her for brunch. “She’ll just change her mind,” she said, clearly exasperated. I am lucky enough to have a mom that’s not like that. She decided she wanted to come down today for brunch, but she pretty much left the planning up to me. I appreciate that.
I know there are things about my life that drive her bonkers, and that worry her. But for the most part: My mom has faith in me. She trusts me. She NEVER, and I mean NEVER, played the “this is what you should do” card with me regarding my kids. She NEVER told me I was doing it (feeding, changing, schooling, anything) wrong.
When I lost my son, she grieved almost as hard as Dan and me. And her grief was two-fold: for her grandson, whom she would never meet; and because she couldn’t help me. She couldn’t protect me; she couldn’t kiss it and make it better. That was hard for her. I think she struggled with that almost more than the loss. (I think my dad, the ultimate “fixer upper” in my life, struggled just as much, too.) On the third anniversary of his death, she and my sister gave me an angel bracelet. She has never forgotten him, and she never shies away from mentioning him. I appreciate this about her too. I know she is an exception in the babyloss community.
She’s fun. My mom is the most fun Nonna in the world. She’s goofy, she’s silly, and she’s infinitely patient with her grandchildren. She doesn’t blink when it comes to changing diapers or feeding them, and when she’s done, she’s sweeping them off to her activity for them (children’s museum, zoo, Presque Isle) where she won’t just keep up with them — she’ll lead the way.
Becoming a mom has made me appreciate my mom all the more. When I talk about my frustrations with my girls, she often laughs. “You were perfect children,” she tells me, about us three peas — me, Dr. Bro, Dr. Sis. I don’t she says that because she doesn’t want to give me advice or because she actually thinks we were perfect. I think she tells me that to say: “I believe in you. You’ll figure it out.” Because she wants to see me do it. She knows I can.
That faith, that belief — I think that’s the greatest gift my mom has ever given me.
So thanks, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day. I know you won’t read this (unless Dad tells you to), but I hope you know how you feel. I hope the flowers and the cards and the smooches of your grand-daughters let you know: Your quiet belief in me has been the best thing you’ve ever done for me. I don’t know that I could repay that, unless I can pass it on to my own kids. But at least I can say: Thanks. I love you.