Marvelous Messy Motherhood

mom teeterHappy Mothers Day!

Or not.

There are some who can’t be happy on Mothers Day due to feelings of inadequacy, guilt, unfulfillment, jealousy, regret, failure, resentment . . . yep, it’s a female holiday.

Why don’t we know how to be appreciated?

No matter how good or bad guys are performing their domestic roles, they happily kick back to be celebrated and served on their special day (and every day).

On this holiday, I want to share a favorite memory of my mom. I love it because Mom totally messed up that day. And I was so mad at her for messing up because it made me look bad, and when you’re sixteen-years-old you don’t ever want to look bad.

It was the night of my high school choir concert and Mom still didn’t have my choir dress finished.

I’d given her the pattern, like, two days before so why wasn’t it done?

She’d enlisted her sister to help and had been at her house all day sewing, but was still AWOL when I needed to go. Exasperated, I called her and she said they were almost finished, and since my aunt lived near the high school I should drive over there to get the dress.

My aunt finished sewing the last seam as I walked in the door. While I was changing, my mom and aunt collapsed on the floor in relief and exhaustion. They were saying how few hours of sleep they’d gotten and how hungry they were, blah, blah, blah. As I pulled my arm through the right sleeve, something was wrong. It fit, but I couldn’t bend my arm or put it down by my side. The puffy part of the sleeve bunched under my armpit indicated the sleeve was sewn on upside down.

I looked ridiculous, but I was already late.

I ranted angrily at the culprits. They just stared at me standing there like the scarecrow from “The Wizard of Oz,” and busted out laughing.

They were tired, hungry and delirious.

They didn’t care that I could barely manage the gear stick of my car to drive to the school. They didn’t care that I bumped into my crush who said, “What’s up with your dress?”

They just rolled on the floor covered in fabric and thread scraps barely able to breath between cackles.

During the concert I strategically maneuvered my protruding appendage behind the girl next to me. When the concert ended, I ripped off the sleeve so I could drive home comfortably. Mom met me at the door with an apology and a new sleeve, which she sewed on immediately even though the next concert was months away.

I’m glad she laughed at me that night.

I deserved it.

I was thoughtless to get her the pattern so late. I was unappreciative of her willingness and ability to sew a dress for me on such short notice. I didn’t offer Mom an apology for these transgressions until years later when I was a Mom and realized how many times I would laugh in my kids’ angry faces then apologize for stuff that was their fault.

Mothering is a marvelous mess.

Ditch the deprecating list of emotions today and just celebrate motherhood.

We’ve earned it.

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