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Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Salute to Mothers...and their children.

Good morning!

So today is Mother's Day here in the US.  Normally I'm against the whole fake holiday thing, but Mother's Day and Father's Day are okay in my book because, well, if done right, parenting is, next to marriage, the most difficult, heartbreaking, amazing job you will ever take on.

So here's to you, MOM!

What makes a Mom? 

Well, first you have to have children that call you "mom."  They can be any age, they can still live in the house or not, but they have to, at least a couple times a year, call you "mom" and you had to have, at some point, changed their diapers/held their hair when they barfed, washed  vomit and blood from their clothes, and kissed their boo boos.

You also had to have yelled at them for missing curfew, failing to turn in homework, sassing you, not cleaning their room, or leaving candy wrappers all over the house.

To be a mom, you had to have cried, prayed, sweat, cheered, and raged in private, because being a mom is sometimes a very private thing.

You have to be a person who can love another person so completely that no matter what your child says or does, you are willing to hold them in your arms and want only the very best for them.

To be a mom, you have to be willing to teach them everything you believe and stand for...all the while knowing they will likely, either for a short time or for life, adopt beliefs and causes opposite of yours.  And you have to be okay with that.


Back in the day...
With that in mind, let me tell you about my kids.  I've got the boy child, Skippy...he's a surly looking kid who did very well in high school, but hates the idea of school in general.  He's very smart, but has no desire to do anything.  Yet he reads...he reads endlessly and thinks about things.   His views about the big issues of the day are rigid, but there's a compassion there that brings me to my knees every day.  The only thing he cannot forgive is hypocrisy. 

He may seem to be directionless to the casual outsider, but he knows exactly who he is and where he wants to be.  He's just waiting for the world to offer him a path he's interested in taking.

Then there's Girl child, Peaches.  Like her brother, she suffers no hypocrites, but she's slightly kinder to people.  She has an enormous capacity for love, and she champions the fringe dwellers of our society, while demanding that those around her take responsibility for themselves.  She is the most self sufficient child I've met at 15, and the most self aware.  She has a tremendous flair for style, though some of her outfits draw criticism from the more stodgy people in her life.  She doesn't care what people say, she's going to express herself through her dress, and I rarely have to ask what her mood is.  I usually know just by looking at the color of her tights.

To someone who doesn't know my children well, Skippy and Peaches might seem like odd, slacker kids with rebellious streaks and no respect for authority.  To be honest, it's never easy raising strong willed kids who don't march to the lock step beat of society's expectations.  Any parent with a kid who falls outside the guidelines of "normal" will agree with me. 

It's not that they don't respect authority.  They just don't respect hypocrisy, and they certainly don't respect those who try and make up their minds for them.   As they get older, Hubby and I may not always agree with our kids.  But we taught them to take responsibility for their actions, to pay their own way, to work hard, to bow a knee to God, and to always be honest, no matter what the cost.

They'll never make it in politics, and they will make me crazy until the day I die.  But I love them and I know they are going to be okay.

So Moms, especially those of you who have kids who aren't always clean, who aren't always sweet, who don't keep silent, or who don't feel like talking, here's a salute to you. 

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