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Maternal Wisdom

mother's day

Here’s a fun poll for Mother’s Day weekend:  what’s the best advice your Mom ever gave you?  Here are some of the words of wisdom to which I adhere to this very day:

  • You must have a good knife in your kitchen
  • Baggy clothing does not cover up imperfections, it just makes you look bigger
  • Keeping a schedule keeps you sane
  • And, last but not least, if anyone spills anything, you must say in your weariest, most put-upon voice, “JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH, GET THE PAPER TOWELS” (my kids thank Mom Mom for that as well!)

Alright, what’s everyone gotten from their Mom’s?  Words of wisdom, life lessons, or just hilarious stories, I want to hear them!  And for all my beautiful maternal friends, enjoy the weekend, you deserve it!

Today’s Miracle:

Mothers definitely count as a miracle; I don’t know what I’d do without mine!

Kids These Days…

When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out. ~Erma Bombeck

If, as the Staples commercial says, back to school is the most wonderful time of the year, then the three weeks preceding it are certainly the most challenging, at least for parents of school-age children.  I can recall when my kids were babies several family members saying, “enjoy them now while they can’t talk.”  I really hope I took full advantage of that time…

Remember, when you were young, lectures that began “when I was your age…,” “you don’t know how good you have it…,” and “you kids these days…”?  Remember rolling your eyes at these lectures?  I really, really do remember, and now, I could take an hour or so to finish each one of these sentences!  To all the people of the generation ahead of me… I get it now, and I’m sorry for causing you the annoyance that the younger generation is currently causing me.

Now, here is the ironic twist.  This morning’s troubles started when I announced we had to go to mass this morning (in the Catholic faith, it is a holy day of obligation).  For the non-Catholics reading this, it is the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Without going into too much detail, it is basically Mother’s Day for the most important Mom who ever graced this planet.

So the message I gained, as I listened to the homily about this feast day, is that I need to go to Mary with my kid annoyances, and she will help me out, on this day especially.  She better, for the kids’ sakes!

Happy Father’s Day

A father is respected because
he gives his children leadership…
appreciated because
he gives his children care…
valued because
he gives his children time…
loved because
he gives his children the one thing
they treasure most – himself.

As I wrote in my “Mother’s Day” post, I have been fortunate to have been blessed with not one, but two sets of amazing parents.  Since I took the opportunity to give accolades to Moms on their special day, I figured I would give equal time to the Dads of the world.

If Moms are all about love, forgiveness and quiet strength, then Dads are all about discipline, leadership and not- so-quiet strength.  They are the ones we turn to when something breaks, when we are lost, or when (and this is especially true for me) we need general how-to information. 

As I mentioned, I have had the great gift of having two Dads, the first having passed away 20 years ago, the other for the past 13 years through marriage.  And while I miss my biological Dad dearly, I could not be more fortunate to have my current Dad.  If not for him, I would not, at the most basic level, have my husband and children.  But more importantly, he leads our family by his great example…. there is not one thing that he teaches us (and believe me, he has taught all of us so many things!) that he is not willing to do himself.  So when preaches the value of hard work, he is the first to volunteer when a project needs to be done.  When he preaches family values, he is the absolute first person there for any one of his family members in a crisis. 

He has shown me, and his son, who emulates him perfectly in this respect, the real meaning of fatherhood.  I simply cannot imagine what my life would be lacking without him as a role model, a source of strength, and as a friend.

Happy Mother’s Day

This may be a day late, but hopefully not a dollar short.  I wanted to write this yesterday, but I felt I was better served showing my Mom‘s how much they mean to me, and now today I am going to tell them.

Of all the “Hallmark holidays,” Mother’s Day is definitely the most legitimate because, as all the recent commercials, magazine ads, and various cards we have all just purchased, Moms are a very special breed.  No matter how many kids they have, no matter what ages their children are, Moms sacrifice so much of themselves for their children, and they rarely even think of it as a sacrifice.

But of all the Moms that need to be acknowledged, Moms of addicts truly deserve the most praise.  If the Mom of a “normal” child worries on a daily basis, then what can be said about the Mom of an addict?  It is difficult to contemplate.  And if you could quantify the amount of forgiveness the average Mom allows for the average kid, then to what degree more does she allow for her addicted child?  I am not a mathematician, but I would think that amount is immeasurable.

And the most amazing part of all is how little Moms seem to ask in return for all this forgiveness, all this love.  I believe because for Moms, they don’t even consider how much they are doing… in their minds, it is just “their job.”  But truly, the extra love, support and forgiveness Moms give to their addict children is not a requirement, and, as one of these recipients, I truly appreciate it.

Many people suffer the loss of their Mothers for any number of reasons… death, separation, estrangement.  I am so blessed, despite all of the mistakes I have made in my lifetime, to have the gift of not one Mother, but two, and I am taking the time today (a day late), to tell them both how much their love and support mean to me, and that I wouldn’t have my 107 days of sobriety without them.  If everyone had even one of my Moms, the world would be a much happier, much stronger place.

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