A mother’s love is so magical. I cannot say enough about my Mama’s love or that of my Lola. I have written blogs as tributes to them. My words can only try, but they never do justice to the magnanimity and depth of their love. It is Mother’s Day this weekend, and fond memories of Mama and Lola come flooding back. They nestle in a special place in my heart.
This blog is my tribute to some mothers in my family, all of them younger than my baby boomer age, each unique in ordinary and extraordinary ways. The common thread, however, is the deep love and caring they nurture for their children.
I mention here my niece, mother of two boys and a baby girl. To sustain the family with sufficient income combined with her husband’s, she takes the night shift while the children are asleep, and the father keeps watch. When she goes home in the morning, before lying down to grab some sleep, she tends to the two boys to ready them for school, prepare their lunch boxes, check on the female toddler to make sure she’s fed and comfortable. When the boys are off to school, she takes her own breakfast and after making sure the little one is fine, she tries to sleep. Her husband stays a little while before going to work, so she can have some rest. With this routine, rarely does she get more than four hours of sleep each day of the work week. But she’s happy and feels blessed that her family’s fine.
The wife of my nephew is a doctor who works long hours in the hospital. Every opportunity she gets to take time off is spent traveling with her husband and her daughter who has down syndrome. Their frequent travels locally and abroad are geared to making their daughter enjoy seeing new places and different cultures, savoring new cuisine, but especially, just spending time in interesting activities experienced together. The patience and unlimited understanding of this mother for the daughter is quite moving – likely, a significant boost to the daughter’s pleasant disposition, confidence, friendliness and social ease. On occasions when I was with this family, I would catch the mother just gazing dotingly at her daughter’s face, not saying anything, but smiling calmly and contentedly. I liked to think that the mother was simply basking in the warm sunbeams emanated from the daughter’s face. This mother’s love, combined with the father’s, serves as solid foundation for the daughter now in her mid 20’s.
I think of another niece, 28 years old, on her second month of pregnancy, excited when she found out she was pregnant, yet anxious to know more about pregnancy and motherhood and what to do to prepare herself for the changes in her body. Eager to learn new health habits. Loving the feel of her stomach slowly growing outward. Checking out names for a girl or a boy. Feeling hungry all the time. That’s a lady so looking forward to being a mother. The glint in her eyes speaks volumes. Her broad smiles speak of anticipation. If flowers start as a bud, she is a bud learning and experiencing to be a flower. A young mother in bloom.
My daughter-in-law is a magnificent Mom, raising her son (my grandson almost ten in July) with discipline, yet genuinely attentive and caring. I have often noticed how she devotes time, despite the myriad chores, busy schedules and demands of being a kindergarten teacher, talking to her young boy, carrying on conversations that draw ideas and stories from him, monitoring his homework and his eating habits. Along with her husband, she provides faithful support for all her son’s work, studies, activities and endeavors. While offering the boy guidance in his ways and thought processes, she allows him to reason out or argue respectfully when he does not agree with the parent’s view. Intelligent exchange is encouraged. What especially stands out is her gentle playfulness with her son that makes for lively, fun and joyful interactions. On Facetime, I have seen all three of them – my grandson, his Mom and Dad – play games that demonstrate how this family delights in doing things together – and during these games, it wasn’t rare that the mother would get up now and then to check something cooking in the kitchen, while the two males patiently wait. What a beautiful picture that I simply enjoy watching, even over the internet.
And then, my daughter, who’s visiting me in Palo Alto for Mother’s Day, reminded me that she, too, is a Mom – a mother of three big dogs, three intelligent German Shepherds that she and her husband care for: one handsome and stately male, and two lovely females. My daughter says she’s a “dog Mommy”, and I shouldn’t forget – dog Mommies are to be celebrated, too. She, indeed, is a very conscientious and attentive Mommy to those three delightful and smart pet dogs adopted when they were sheer puppies.
To these mothers and mothers everywhere, Happy Mother’s Day – with special blessings!