Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. I'm a mother. I can hardly believe it. I am a mother to two beautiful children. I have a four-year old, and I have a baby. I am a mother.

Meazi came out of school last Thursday smiling. She was holding something behind her back. It was a surprise she wanted to give me on Sunday for Mother's day. She hid it in the stroller. "Don't peek!" she said.

The other day I was walking, and another mom from her school said, "So what are your plans for Mother's day?" Out of habit, I hung my head and sheepishly mumbled , "Oh, I don't know." Every year, for the past ten years, Mother's day has been awful for me, the last few years harder than the first few years. Now that the day is here, I don't really believe it. I am not convinced that I am a mother. Really? How did that happen?

Yesterday my friend Amy sent me the two pictures in this post.

Don't M&m look different? They were just home. Right after this idyllic scene, Meazi threw a tantrum of epic proportion. I had to carry her screaming, over my shoulder, into the car. Her brother began howling as well. It was awful. We have come a long way, but still have miles to go. I am still hopeful that one day I will be the mother they deserve.

The thing that has struck me the most lately, in regard to Mother's day, is that there are women around me who have 'had my back' since we got home. I knew that certain people would be there for me for sure, but what has been a remarkable gift has been the realization that women, all around me, have been helping me, almost without my knowing it. There are several moms at Meazi's school who have done little, subtle, things that I now see as huge gifts.

These moms who have been doing small things around, and for me, are on my mind most this Mother's day. (These moms and a couple of moms in Canada but I'll get to that later). Moms around me have been helping me in ways big and small. Some moms I know well, some moms I just met in September, and some moms I don't know at all. Breast milk, door holding, medicine delivery, a side-by-side stroller pep talk, a "I'm at Costco, tell me what you need and I will bring it to you," a "Give yourself a year," a pizza brought over after the world's longest airplane ride, hand-me-downs, advice given in a way that didn't make it sound like advice.

Sometimes I feel like whenever I leave the house with my two children, a bucket of anxiety is dropped on me from my door frame as I step out. Will I lose them at the park? Will a car rear end us? Will Meazi have a tantrum? Will the car seat fail? Will Melese fall and cut his eyelid a fifth time? Do I have enough snacks? Will she listen? Will a car back into her from a driveway? All of these things run through my brain. A trip to the park is a minefield sometimes. That dog is going to bite him. That guy looks creepy. That kid just shunned her. She fell off the play structure. Sigh. Pass me a Valium.

I am constantly amazed by women with children of their own who can swoop in and also help my children when they need it. As I look around nervously making sure Melese doesn't walk in front of the swings, another mom has helped Meazi down the play fire pole. As I frantically search for a healthy snack in my cluttered diaper bag that is most times lacking diapers, a mother swoops in with apple sauce in a squeezer and whole milk in a juice box. Amazing moms everywhere. How are they doing it? How can they watch their kids and mine too? When will I ever relax? I am a helicopter mom, which I didn't want to be, and my kids get hurt anyway. It is inevitable I guess. Sigh. Pass me a Zoloft.

If I had more money, and if the kids hadn't just woken up. I would write a note to all of you moms who have helped me, in person and online. In the letter would be a generous gift card to a local coffee shop, preferably attached to an upscale nail salon. All of you would enjoy as many lattes as your body could handle, a luxurious pedicure, and a heaping dose of gratitude from me. Thank you for everything.

Now about those Canadian women.

Rana. Dear sweet Rana. This is the last one I promise. This is the last Mother's day that you will feel this way. (Rana received her referral for her son soon after we did, and is still waiting to pass court).

You too Carolyn. This is the last one. Please don't give up. Don't. Give. Up.

I'm off to peek at my surprise. Meazi says she has to give it to me soon because it needs water.

For the love of God, please don't let it be another pet. One more thing to worry about.
Sigh.Pass me a Paxil.

Happy Mother's Day.


  1. SIgh. Thanks, I so needed this. You listed all of the things that I freak out about every day too. Really, I don't think you missed even one.

    I miss you!

    Rana - I am so sorry you are still waiting to pass court. Good strong karma to you from all of us.

  2. I love the new header! Dear Julie, you have been inspiration to mothers and would-be mothers for the past few years. You always manage to say the words we have felt but didn't know how to say. You are wonderful.
    Happy Mother's Day.

  3. Happy, happy mother's day. I love writing those words.

  4. Happy Mothers Day, you lovely, lovely momma.

  5. i cried (and chuckled) all through this post. i long to be one of those moms that actually keeps diapers in her diaper bag!

    i love how you soak it all in while staying sensitive to those who walked where you walked.

    happy first mother's day.

  6. It makes my hear soar that you are going to have a beautiful Mother's Day this year.

    May all your beautiful Mother friends partake in their own slice of kind wonder that is the celebration of Motherhood: so challenging and rewarding.

    Happy Mother's Day.


  7. Beautiful as always. Happy Mama's Day!!

  8. Happy Mother's Day.

    Please send this to some magazine or some place where lots and lots and lots of people can read it.

    You are already the mother they deserve. I know, I don't really know you, and you don't know me but trust me on this one, OK?

    And, Q is seven and still has lots of scrapes (but less, we need less band aids) it gets easier as they get older. It also gets harder. That's just the way it is. It's how the universe balances out the unfairness that we get all this big smoochin love and others on this earth are alone and lonely. So that's it I think, it balances it all.

    Happy Mothers Day!!!!!

  9. S came home from Sunday School with a flower seed in a cup that she had decorated with Jesus stickers. We were supposed to give it water and sunshine and lots of love to make it grow.

    I told her that the best place for plants was mommy's office right next to Miss Tiffany's desk. Luckily she agreed to it, because that plant's best chances for survival is to be under the watchful care of anyone but me. It's all I can do to keep her and the cats alive!

  10. I don't know how you do it, but you always manage to take the words right out of my mouth. Happy First Mother's Day!

  11. Happy Mother's Day! I know our own wonderful mother wishes she could be there all the time to help you. And me too.

  12. Julie - you are a well deserving mother and a great mom to your beautiful children! Happy Mother's Day!!!

  13. The Happiest of Mother's Days!!



  14. There is no such thing as a perfect mother. These other mothers just have a little more experience and can remember their beginning and the helping hands they've received.

    I missed the first hour (out of two!) of my very own student art show last week because I forgot to pack diapers and didn't trust Eli in public with just his underwear on!! Turns out the Blockbuster next to the market was having a video signing from Cheech and Chong!!! The shopping center was chaos making it in hour trip!

    Happy Mother's Day to an amazing mother!

  15. Happy Mother's Day. I agree with past comments: you already are the mother your beautiful, incredible children deserve, because you are so open and giving and loving with them. It shows in your pictures and in your words.

    Enjoy the day!

  16. Happy Happy MOthers Day mama! I hope you enjoy every sticky messy minute and relish each smooch and I wish you more than you can count, all weekend long. Heck, forever. Beautiful Mama, that's you.

  17. I know that you are the mother they deserve. I'm all teary. I think, about the anxiety, that you become accustomed to the mental state that accompanies having children and being their mother. Still, sometimes when I am at work, when someone says I have a phone call, the worst thoughts can go through my mind, is my family okay? I become flummoxed, but it's the guy from the Chinese restaurant telling me to get up front and pay, nothing at all to do with my husband or son.

    p.s. I just want to also say that you are a bang up excellent writer, Julie.

  18. People keep wishing me a happy first mother's day, and I keep going "huh?" It doesn't feel real...

    I know what you mean about the helicopter parenting, I never though I would be one either but somehow I am! I think it's because of something you said in another post - I only just met her, so I don't really know for sure that she's not going to stick her fingers in an electrical outlet the minute I turn my back, do I? Maybe in a couple of years, when I know her better, I can let go a little...

    May all your days be as wonderful as Mother's Day is supposed to be!

  19. Thank YOU AMAZING mother. Thank you for being my rock. For helping me through EVERYTHING. For being honest and open and loving through every ounce of who you are. We all are better for being in your circle. I'm so proud of you and the mom that you are. Happy Mother's Day Beautiful Momma.

  20. I love this. Especially the end. :) We have 16 paws, and that is plenty. :) I hope she got you a plant!

    Happy Mother's Day, at long last!!

  21. This was a lovely, lovely post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! And happy Mother's Day to you - you truly deserve it.

  22. Yay for your first Mother's Day with your kiddos! So, so happy YOU are a mother. Your thanking so many mothers makes me want to thank you. It has been amazing to follow you, from a few month's distance in terms of kids. You are a fun mama to follow!

  23. This was just what I needed to read. I think that over the years, I've gotten accustomed to feeling the ways you describe (and now have moved on to other feelings of shortcomings in being a mother). I no longer have to stress about having diapers in my bag, for instance, and if I didn't remember to pack a healthy snack, I'm better with just letting the kids eat whatever IS in my purse or chewing on gum from the pack left in the car from our last long roadtrip a few months ago. I've relaxed about THOSE WILL get easier for you. Of course, there are new challenges to face and things I feel I'm not doing right. My son is old enough that social and academic expectations are ramping up, and we're not necessarily up to it...I'm now working on getting used to the fact that he is who he is, he's good at what he's good at, he's smart in different ways than others, and if it's not what we first thought it would be, at least we NOW have some perspective on it - but how do I get parents of other kids and teachers and principals to see the light that shines in him so they don't all get scared away by the storm he can be on the surface ? And the angst and the challenges go on...but I still think that in many ways it gets easier with time - we just become more relaxed, we get "used to it" (or maybe our standards change!?!?) In any case, YOU have been such a helpful mom to so many others. Maybe you forgot the juice box (haven't we all) but you've provided the words time and time again that we all needed to read. You know how to say what we only sort of realize we're feeling too. I hope that I, as an experienced mom of 7 years and 2 kids, can live up to YOUR example when we bring home our adopted children from Ethiopia in the next year. Kudos.

  24. Such a beautiful post. Our first Mother's Day - surreal, ain't it!? And the freaking out bit - me too. All day I imagine B falling and breaking her teeth or nose. Can't wait for her to be more stable on her feet.

    Much love to you and yours, Mama.

    (p.s. sorry I've been a bit behind on reading your blog...and all the others)

  25. I wonder if I will ever come here without tearing up. I could have written so many of these lines...most of all about the amazement and gratitude of other mothers. we need eachother more then I think any of us realized...until we became mothers.
    I'm so happy for you...that this year is different. happy (belated) mothers day!

  26. Oh Julie!

    Thank you!

    For being you, the kindest person in the world and the best Momma ever!!

    I have to admit, I haven't been reading your blog...or anyone' was too hard and this last month I pretty much cocooned...but thank you...for hoping and believing for me...and next year, I hope for Mother's day we are in L.A. hanging with you four :)