Mother’s Day

Air Laced with Love

There’s a storm rolling over us right now.

God, does it sound gorgeous.

At my feet my little dog sits, her eyes slowly drifting to sleep, eyelids heavy and half open.

Rain smacks against our roof. Thunder claps.

The birds still keep tweeting.

I’ve got the windows open, despite the storm, and my little family basks in the dewey light of spring. Toes splayed out on our worn comforter we sit with devices on our laps. These are the things gratitude is made of.

Inhale deeply.

Social media is full of messages of motherhood today. I know the national holiday holds significance for women all over the country. I’m touched and feel tender from the shift happening on the internet.

The shift towards real.

So many of these posts exclaim an appreciation and understanding of how holidays, while meant to celebrate, can also exclude.  For the women longing to be mothers, those estranged from their mothers or their own children. For those who kissed weary lashes and watched last breaths exit those beautiful bodies ready to be done.

Today, some men and women and children wonder and hurt and pray crying out, “F Mother’s Day”.

Thankful to those who see those who are yelling or are perhaps banging their fists silently against their own hearts.

I spent Mother’s Day weekend with my grandma and my mom in a hospital room. Grandma’s fine – had to have a few procedures done and was released earlier today. Our plans of champagne and hollandaise got replaced with jello and apple juice in small plastic cups.

I showed up. I sat in the blue chair with plastic that crinkled each time I moved my legs. From the corner I watched as caring nurses attentively gave their time and talents to Grandma. We ate cookies from plastic sandwich bags and listened to beeping screens. We breathed in the sacred air. Air laced with love tinged with concern and the miracle of modern medicine.

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Down the hall, in the ICU, families waited and breathed slowly and slept on couches in waiting rooms. I did not have to celebrate in that space. Not yet. That space holds a heavier kind of pain.

Losing someone has heightened my awareness and piqued my ears up towards all the ways our culture tells us we should be celebrating.

Today, I do not dread, but I know my time is coming. Father’s Day lurks quietly around June’s approaching corner. Soon start the advertisements for ties, barbecue grills, beer and outdoor adventures. Lowes and Home Depot will taunt me. My dad didn’t like many of those things anyway and he already had so many ties.

I’ll swerve and veer and navigate my own loss as we move towards another national day of recognition.

So today, here I sit, with toes splayed out, resting in the delicious balance of rain, of unknowns, of love. I say thanks for imperfection and for storms and for nurses. For those who have mothered me in a million trillion ways. And for another beautiful opportunity to remember those who live – in hospital rooms, in text messages, in our hearts and our dreams.

 

 

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I am Enough

“It never hurts to keep looking for sunshine.” – Eeyore

I need this reminder today. It has been cloudy and raining for the last seven days. Now here comes a Colorado privilege rant – ie. We haven’t seen the sun for over a week, and we are stressed out about the implications of hovering gloom in the mist and the wet. I know that a large portion of the country lives in this guck all the time. Not me. I need my sunglasses for 300 days of the year. As my alarm went off and the obnoxious beep, beep, beep roused me into a Monday, I opened my eyes and thought SUN! Light was shining in from the windows, and dancing along the wall as I awoke. I suppose it is a miracle, really, to be thankful for the sun. Thankful, as my yoga teacher always says, for the beautiful gift of another day to breathe.

I thought of Eeyore this week, as doom and gloom never seems far off – right? The what if messages, and the I’m not good enoughs and fears of what could be can consume us and eat us alive. I was talking this week with Dylan about how I need to be nicer to myself – in my thoughts, and in my actions towards my own perceptions of myself. My mom wants a tattoo that says, “I am enough.” I’m not brave enough to get that tattooed on my body, but I am brave enough to start saying that to myself over and over again. This week, I think that message is satisfying to me as I settle into a slower paced job, without as many every day demands.

That message is satisfying to me as I watch my family dynamic change and the formation of a “we” in a marriage continues to develop. That message is satisfying to me as I try to problem solve or scrimp and save to compete with the big achievers – the homeowners, the grad students, the young parents that I am not. Whew (I don’t want those things yet. No, not really.)

This week, I had the privilege of having family dinner with my parents and Dylan. After sharing a meal, we turned on the music and my mom screamed, “Dance Party!” Entertainment factor – huge! Watching my parents move their hips to “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars, with me in my bright blue yoga pants and Dylan moving his head in full force – the joy was flowing. I felt filled with immense beauty in the very nature of having the ability to stand with people I love and tap into a dance.  I’m learning that it is the cultivation of these fun moments that make my life worth living. My career feels unsure, owning a home because that means stability to others feels insincere, finding worth in checking things off my master to-do list is not where I am going to feel content. The beauty, instead, is in the cultivation of joy at my own hands. Or choosing to participate in the joy that others have created – there is contentment to be found there as well.

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This weekend I got to partake in two Mother’s Day celebrations and am thankful for the wonderful feminine legacy that has been created by my mom, and now my mother-in-law. I am thrilled to be able to stand, to hug, to bask in the presence of women who have made me, and the ones I love who we are today. Thank you – Christine and Cathy – for setting such a high bar for what it means to beautifully experience life as it comes, and love in the midst of uncertainty. For teaching me to turn my head to the sun, and to dance.

Biscotti: None

Essie Nail Polish: Bass Fiddle

Stay tuned for an exciting announcement on Friday, May 15