Today is my mother’s birthday. I will refrain from telling you her actual age since I like breathing so everyone say happy 29th birthday Annie. But it made me think of how once again things change through the years for mothers.
You get the cute scribbled cards with the peanut butter and jelly smudges. Breakfast served in bed with the scrambled eggs with that added crunch, the blackened and lumpy pancakes, and the bacon that crumbles when you look at it. With several pairs of eager and anticipating eyes looking at you from the foot of the bed. The clay handprints lovingly wrapped in hand drawn paper with way to much tape for as little of the present that is actually hidden from view.
Gradually it changes now you’re taken out to lunch and the cards are store bought, the eagerness is slowly starting to wane. The present is a somewhat thoughtful sweater in your favorite color found on the clearance rack in the wrong size. Would be more thoughtful if your birthday wasn’t in the summer. This is the standard for several years until your child hits puberty.
Now you’re reduced to nothing more than a card left on the table sometime during the right month. A somber question of whether you’ve prepared your will…just in case mom. And as you decide there’s no hope left the day of your birthday your teenager stops on their way out. As they turn the flame of your hope is ignited and you’re now the one looking with eager anticipation. Right up until your son asks for money for gas and a movie, and decides he just might want to eat dinner with his date somewhere nice. You sigh and resigned hand him the money that came from your mother in your birthday card, so much for those gorgeous pumps you’ve been eyeing.
At some point this downhill slide starts to climb uphill. Maybe it’s the child you’ve bore that makes you realize how much you’ve under appreciated your own mother. Maybe one day you look at your mother and realize she has laugh lines and worry lines both your doing.
All the sudden you realize your mother isn’t the eternal person you always believed her to be. There’s no super cape, or magic powers there. Just the woman you were ecstatic to wake up and run to, the woman you hung your head in front of when caught, the one you thought just didn’t understand what being a teenager about, the one you called in the middle of the night when the baby just wouldn’t sleep. The one you realize you wouldn’t be the person you are today without her…her encouragement, her discipline, her boundries, her love. Thank you Mama and Happy Birthday.