Happy Mother’s Day!

Nothing is ever perfect, but how we look back on it can move us to the core. I will focus today on Layla’s sense of ownership of my level of happiness–do you like the gifts I made you? Wait, let’s all surprise mama at one time. Can I have a gift bag to pit your stuff in? Zade, don’t jump on Mama; it is Mother’s Day. Mommy, do you like your breakfast?

Just a short time ago, she would confuse time, not knowing if yesterday was a week ago or just 12 hours ago. But this morning she woke up keenly aware of the occasion and embraced it , reminding me of my childhood time.

Zade has been loving all morning, but he is always so romantic, never letting an hour go by without telling me he loves me. I want to bottle all of it up for when he’s too cool to be expressive like that.

The most amusing line on one of the stories Layla made for me at school was that she loves me so much she can never leave me.

Feels just like what I would have said to my mom before I faced that leaving is inevitable.

Makes me think of Mama Mia and that moving scene that puddles me every. time. http://youtu.be/Zi7OXmTmgGg. Before I had Layla, this scene meant very little. Now I can’t even see it without crying my eyes out.

And when I sent my mom this sentiment this morning, she said “I remember good old Mother’s Days with your creations for me, and I am sure you remember those days. Now your turn to get the taste of it.”

Mother’s Days are nostalgic for me and make me keenly aware of both and old new memories. To borrow words from my friend Katie, it’s a day that reminds of me of how “the next generation steps to bat.”

I hope all of you have a good mingling today, molding new memories while remembering past ones.

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Not a Silver Lining Post

This is not a silver lining post.

Last week I wrote that line on my notepad as I navigated my car underneath a tunnel and away from a parking lot I had just took a U-turn in. A few minutes before that, I found myself asking an insurance representative to hold the phone call so I could grab a loose ticket from the parking machine only to then have to explain to the parking attendant that I just want to get back on the road. Twenty minutes before that, I was on hold waiting for the insurance company to tell me why medical bills from my husband’s surgery kept coming. Two hours before that, I was number 91 at the vital records office trying to get my son’s birth certificate after my failed but dedicated attempt to locate this lost document I’m certain I have somewhere in my house. And three days before that, I agonized over details of the kids’ passport documents.

I told myself as I balanced my phone on one ear and listened to the GPS with the other that I wouldn’t try to forget what had nagged at me that day. I wouldn’t find the silver lining in this one; I’d just let it be what it was.

There are times when being an adult sucks.

All that independence we wanted growing up didn’t quite add up to the look of a disgruntled, responsible person waiting in line at the post office and begging her kids to stop lying flat-belly on the floor while sliding trucks back and forth. The yearning we had to start, to finally begin, it didn’t look in our minds like the woman making a mad dash of errands on her lunch break. To deposit a check. Get a registration packet. Stop at Kroger’s to get goldfish crackers for kids’ lunches. Run to Kohl’s to get the kids outfits they need for upcoming photo session. Smooth out the lines. Put on some gloss. And get back to work in time for a meeting.

Sometimes being an adult is being that person waiting on hold with your doctor’s office and trying to understand medical jargon after you’ve pulled into a shopping plaza. On those days, you’d be tempted to trade a bit of that autonomy for the days when your parents just took care of that shit, the unglamorous grit of daily life.

I’m glad I got to simmer on this for a bit before I had the chance to write. Through that space, I entered into another one that even my own natural optimism couldn’t carve. I watched Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and was able to see my reflection back at me, nodding at me and saying, there’s a time where we all look that way. It’s inevitable.

I think I was seeing myself in the eyes of my teenage self that day in the car. I was judging myself and then in turn getting angrier at the constant work adult and parent life includes. While paying bills and unloading the dishwasher after a really long day, it’s just hard to be that marvelous, ambitious youth that looks into the open sky and says artfully, “You know how everyone’s always saying seize the moment? I don’t know, I’m kind of thinking it’s the other way around, you know, like the moment seizes us.”

Thankfully, this is what real friends, George Ezra, and a big Ferris wheel are for–to ignite spontaneity and shake off our dust-laden youth.