The day after John was born with Rob, my mom holding John, and me
See that picture? It is the only one I kept from my time at the hospital after giving birth. I kept it safely hidden away because of how I looked. Now? It’s a sweet picture of my mother holding John and a reminder of how I used to celebrate Mother’s Day before Coronavirus.
As Wikipedia states, Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. I wrote about how we’re all a Tribe of Moms in last year’s blog post (you can find it on our website). This year, Coronavirus has changed how we celebrate Mother’s Day in my house and may have changed yours a little bit, too. When I used to live in California (and when my mother was alive, she passed away last March), my family would get together for brunch to celebrate Mother’s Day. Rob, John and I continued this tradition after we moved to Texas 15 years ago.
The past two months under the cloud of Coronavirus has made things, let’s just say, different. 😉 Brunch? Can’t do that this year, nothing is open. And there is nothing really to go do together even if we wanted to, like seeing a movie. Add a teenager into the mix, a driver-license-carrying-car-driving son who tackles school from home now, who works part time to have SOMEwhere else to go (thank you, Jack in the Box!), a boy who is happy about driving and working but not about being cooped up at home all the time with his boring (and sometimes stressed out) parents, well…let’s just say life in the Black household has been filled with lots of ups and downs. And rituals like Mother’s Day brunch feel like just one more change to mourn. That’s when I remind myself to look for the positive.
Enjoy this time, even if you’re really over it. Look for what you are being given right now that you might not get again. I’ve had to look hard at times, but it IS there, just in front of you, waiting silently for your attention.
When your two year old is having another tantrum or your elementary-aged child doesn’t want to do one more homework problem in your kitchen or someone complains again about whatever it is they regularly complain about, and you’re thinking you are going to lose your mind, right here, right now, that famous authors will write about how patient and understanding of a mother you used to be until this moment, RIP, that’s your cue…..stop….close your eyes…take a deep calming breath…and think of all the gifts you are getting right now that you otherwise wouldn’t. I don’t know what those are for you. They look different for all of us. Maybe it’s not driving in traffic. Maybe it’s playing board games with your teenager. Maybe it’s not worrying so much about a house that needs cleaning. Just remember that if your children are causing more gray hair than normal, we are all in the other room, us moms, offering support and understanding, aware of how grateful you are, as we are, that we have been given the gift of spending more time with our family, even though sometimes all this togetherness is driving us batty.
When John was little, I was creating and building Sunrise Montessori, working long hours. I thought I had all the time in the world. I wish I could go back and read him a story at bedtime again and sing our song, give him a bottle and then walk around patting his back, or take him to the park to play. I was so busy just trying to handle all of my responsibilities that I didn’t see how those times would pass and not return. But these past two months? I’ve been frustrated and scared and bored, wishing with ALL MY MIGHT that things would go back to the way they were, yet when I am still and things are quiet, I remember what to be grateful for. And it’s created one of the most memorable Mother’s Days ever.
Keeping a connection open with a teenager is HARD, but we’ve been communicating more due to our forced confinement and it’s made me realize so many wonderful qualities about him that I hadn’t taken the time lately to really notice. How bright and good he is at learning (even if I have to bug him about a missing assignment), how motivated he is to go to work (his room may still be a nightmare of unknown proportions, but I’ve never had to wake him up to go!), how determined he is to keep his independence (as he pushes back on house rule he doesn’t like). It’s been a battle at times, yet it’s been wonderful, too, because this forced time together has made me feel better about my job as his mother.
Am I ready for life to get back to normal? For the restaurants to reopen? To meet up with others to celebrate the work week being finished? More than you can know. Yet instead of going out for breakfast and getting flowers, this Mother’s Day my 16 year old gave me a card this morning with a hug before heading to work. His one line on my card, “Thank you for putting up with me, love you Mom” made me laugh. Whatever your blessings have been, I sincerely hope that one of them is this unusual gift of time you have spent with your children and that it has brought you closer. As with all things this time too shall pass, and you may just look back on this Mother’s Day and period in your life with new appreciation and a little longing.
Christmas photo from 2005 and John this morning before heading to work.
- I discovered this article online and found myself nodding over and over as I read it: “The pandemic offers mothers something they will never have again.”
Sunrise Montessori Preschool has two locations in Round Rock. Interested in learning first hand what we can offer your child? Then book a tour on our website at Sunrise-Montessori.com or call us so you can discover why Sunrise Montessori Preschool is where YOUR family belongs!