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A “Good” Mother’s Day

I had a prenatal yoga teacher who liked to have circle time at the beginning of every class so we could talk and get all spiritual and ovarian before we contorted our round selves into various Ashtanga positions. She would always ask us what kind of mothers we wanted to be and I was always stumped. I mean, I wanted to be a good mom. You know, a mom whose kids don't suck.

Here's the problem. If you'd asked me circa age eighteen to describe what it looks like to be a good mother, I would have had an answer. It would have been a ridiculously uniformed and possibly stupid answer,probably along the lines of making sure your child never ends up prematurely pregnant/addicted to substances and/or in prison. (Notice how I equated all those things. Please be advised I was oddly prudish about a number of puzzling things in my youth.)  That was before I had kids of my own. My ideas of what it means to be a good mother have gotten hazier over the years, so much so that it feels weird to even type the words good mother without ironic quotation marks. As a general rule, I now avoid the phrase altogether.

So, of course now that my own mom is gone, I get misty and reflective about her on Mother's Day and I wish I could tell her how much more I get her now that my own parenting mission statement  has devolved from "Raise children who will be polite, well-behaved, cultured, honest, ethical, accomplished, healthy, wealthy and successful" to "Keep babies alive and mostly unmaimed until they reach adulthood." She was a decent mother, Marcia. Both my parents-born in 1929 and 1932 respectively, were very old school. Sometimes when I get wound up about spending too much time reading and playing on my phone, etc. during the day instead of doing puzzles and sidewalk chalk with the kids, I try to remember that my parents, in all seriousness, NEVER played with me. And I totally adored both of them.

I had a great Mother's Day. Almost nothing makes you feel like life is worth living more than a day of lucking out on traffic and parking, and our whole Sunday was one missed traffic jam and open king spot after another! The kids were behaved while we spent hours at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens (quickly becoming a favorite visiting place for all of us), and then again when we went to get frozen yogurt. Plus, thanks to my husband, I am proud to announce that I officially have a Glorious Hat of Summer for 2013. (If you're seeing me this summer, prepare to be awed.)

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 Jeff is now off for the summer but the kids are still in school, which means he and I have had several all too brief mornings to actually hang out and be together. Most of the time, we 're cleaning or doing something equally dumb, but the point is that we're doing said dumb things in the same building with no children. I think that makes it better.

Our dishwasher died a violent, wet death the other night. It flooded the kitchen, and I used every towel in the house and a lot of things that weren't technically towels to mop it all up. In an attempt to assess the situation and  in order to make room for tools and clean up, Jeff basically had to yank the dishwasher out from under the counter and push it out the front door (the closest exit). But it was full, so I ended up having to empty our dishwasher on the lawn. I don't think we're endearing ourselves to this neighborhood. 

After that I tried to wash them by hand, but, um, we had nothing to dry them with. On the bright side: new dishwasher!

4 thoughts on “A “Good” Mother’s Day”

  1. i think you are doing a great job at mothering. my first 2 kids were 8 years apart.that was weird.they are happy and pretty much healthy.that what counts in the long run. when i was growing up mom had a million kids and was too tired to get very involved. i ran the babysitting.still she was a good mom. i knew she loved us.so don’t stress.you are doing very well! and enjoy the new dishwasher!love janet

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  2. Get the kids off to school and then have breakfast with Jeff, just the two of you. Don’t speak of problems,talk about the good things. We love you.

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  3. You know I loved the whole post – I always do, and we’ve talked about much of what it contains – BUT – the H.A.T., oh the hat – you have a new one AND you like it! WooHoo. I promise, promise, promise – no walks in the woods in 104 degrees and no losing beloved hat 🙂

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  4. Jayne, you are a wonderful mom, the kids are very lucky!
    they will have happy memories of you and all will be good.
    Take a picture of you in your new hat too…mom did her best with us..and she really was a wonderful person no meaness in her..I know she is running around in heaven being busy with dad..happy mothers day to you..

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