Tag Archives: Reflection

Now Resume Our Regular Life, Already in Progress

Do broadcast networks still say that?  It used to be when they had breaking news that they would cut into regular broadcasting to inform their viewership of that news and then tell us that they ‘now resume our regular programming, already in progress’.  I heard it often enough that the phrase echoes for me sometimes.

 

Last week I apparently tempted Fate when I wrote this piece.  (Although Fate may want to take a refresher course in reading comprehension – I was empathizing with people dealing with anything outside the norm of their regular lives.)  Fate is nothing if not capricious and possessing a strong sense of the absurd.  Not that anything truly awful happened to me, not last week anyway, but plenty of little and middle sized things were piling up to keep me just off balance from routine.  Mostly things at work.

 

Friday afternoon we looked out the windows of the office and noticed it was ominous, like deep twilight, and then the rain came along.  This has been such a regular occurrence in recent time that we got back to work.  This time my son called to ask me if it had rained heavily and I said it had.  He hadn’t experienced heavy rain where he had been, but was surprised to find trees and branches down all around our neighborhood and our power out.

 

I could see that the storm had been more intense as I drove north toward home after work.  More leaf and branch litter in the roads, and then I started to come across traffic lights without power.  (FYI treat them like a 4-way stop, please.)  And roads blocked by police cars.  Oh, my.  Now I could see big branches down and large wounds on trees.

 

I have 2 large cottonwoods in the front yard and 3 large maples in the back along with some smaller trees (plus 2 done-for ash trees).  I love my trees, but at moments like this, I cringe a bit.  But my son hadn’t mentioned any significant damage to our house and yard.

 

these will become firewood (taken through the screen because the mosquitoes are viscous)

these will become firewood (taken through the screen because the mosquitoes are viscous)

Our power was still out when I arrived, which is somewhat unusual.  We have been pretty lucky that it is rarely out more than an hour or two.  Thankfully I have a gas water heater and a gas stove… That has electronic ignition.  We can light the burners for the stove top, but no oven.  Don’t open the refrigerator too often and wait it out.  We did go out to eat, partly out of curiosity to see the damage.  And felt pangs of jealousy for all those who had power.

 

We played some Yahtzee by the light of lanterns and talked, then went to bed early as earlier generations often did before electricity.  Hoping that the power would be back over night.

 

The power wasn’t restored until around 5 am on Sunday.  Saturday became a struggle to maintain modern life.  My son’s phone had died, he needed to print something before work that evening, we could no longer access our internet because the back-up battery had died, the computer’s battery was running low and most ominous of all the fridge was warming up.

 

Have I mentioned before that my father was a professional Boy Scout for 33 years?  We figured out short term solutions to each problem, and it started to look like we were camping out in our own home.  My sister, bless her, has a generator that we got set up by Saturday evening and started the process to cool the fridge back down.  My son’s various finds like work lights and extension cords came in handy.

 

When the power came back on I had been in a deep sleep in a pitch black room.  Suddenly the small red glow from my bedside clock seemed like klieg lights and I had to chuckle at myself a bit how quickly I went from grateful to grumbly.

 

Electricity flows into our houses and we pay the monthly bills without thinking about how much more comfortable our lives are because of it.  My son kept trying to turn on light switches.  I kept forgetting to grab the lantern when I moved from room to room.  Thankfully it was a beautiful day in the high 70s, but when we got warm we wanted a fan…

 

I really needed a restful weekend so I could hit the reset button for this week at work.  At least I got a fairly normal Sunday.  I’ve had plenty of personal lessons in resilience, this was just the latest.  ‘Normal’ life resumed, for now.

 

(Disclaimer to Fate: I’m just telling a story here, I read an article on electricity in India, where it is not yet widespread or terribly reliable.  I get it, there is always someone doing better and always someone doing worse.)

 

© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

Rule Bound

Where do you stand on the role that rules play in life? Do rules create valid boundaries for protection of yourself, others, property?  Do rules hinder you from doing what you really want to do?  Do they offer guidelines?  Is the rule the most important thing, what the rule is meant to safeguard, or is it the spirit of the rule?  Do you think that rules should have a shelf-life, come up for periodic review?

 

I know people for whom rules are a means to an end.  The rules are to be applied or ignored in whatever fashion necessary to achieve the goal.  Perhaps sometimes just bent or loosely interpreted.  Creative thinking is liberally applied.

 

I know people for whom the rule is the ultimate.  The letter of the rule, the face of it – each rule stitched together with all of the others to provide these people with the comfort to get through all the moments of life.  No creative thinking necessary.

 

And I know plenty of people of varying stripes between these opposites.  And some who don’t seem to think much about rules one way or the other.

 

photo credit: Wikipedia

photo credit: Wikipedia

It couldn’t have been long after people started to congregate that it became clear that some sort of standard was necessary.  Rules were born.  And they can be found in nature – plants and animals have them.  Do this, don’t do that.

 

Rules serve a purpose except when there are rules for the sake of rules.  They help to create commonality and structure.  But they can and should be examined for validity.  (Old laws on the books can be very odd, and sometimes hilarious.)

 

I used to tell my boys that if they thought any of my rules didn’t make sense, they should tell me.  Along with why.  Scoffing at a rule is easy, but putting together a compelling argument why the rule should be removed or changed is important.

 

It comes down to one of my favorite questions – what is the intent?  If the intent isn’t clear, well hmmm….  But that doesn’t necessarily mean it is ok to ignore or flaunt the rule.

 

How are the bindings on the rules around you?

 

© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

There is Joy to be Found

It doesn’t seem possible for a person to get to my stage in life without experiencing dark, lonely and painful moments.  Perhaps it is possible for a small group of people with certain constitutions.  But then there are the rest of us, and for another small subset dark moments are entirely too common. They can become dark days, weeks, months and even years.

 

Like the majority of the population, my heart contracted when I heard the news about Robin Williams last week.  But I didn’t have to ask why, I knew that in that moment he just couldn’t find his way past the pain and the dark.  And I wished that I could have reached out and helped him to refocus, just enough to get through that worst moment, on some small bit of joy.  Or even just the knowledge that joy does exist and has power too.

 

There is always joy even though the cruelest aspect of dark moments is the way they work to rob a person of joy.  A pensive Robin Williams would appreciate the irony in the fact that someone who represented joy to so many wasn’t able to summon it for himself at a crucial moment.

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I learned this lesson well the year that my father died suddenly and my husband left me the following month.  The dark loneliness was crushing.  But spring still came and brought delicate new leaves and tiny hardy flowers.  My children still laughed with their friends in the next room and the sound was a balm.

 

I have kept this lesson close in these following years as I have grappled with more trials, more dark and painful moments.  I have learned many things about this dark, this melancholy, this depression as it has been a companion for most of my life.

 

Mary Schmich, of the Chicago Tribune, wrote a thoughtful piece in which she said “Suicide is a mental health issue, not a moral failure”.  She also introduced her readers to a lovely poem called “Wait” by Galway Kinnell, which says in part:

 

Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven’t they
carried you everywhere, up to now? 
Personal events will become interesting again.

Buds that open out of season will become lovely again.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again,
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands.

Wait.
Don’t go too early.
You’re tired. But everyone’s tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a while and listen.
Music of hair,
Music of pain,
music of looms weaving all our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear,
the flute of your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion. 

He understands the dark.  And he found his own methods to find joy.  And he knows that sometimes when the dark and pain are working hardest to block out joy, the best method is just to wait and trust that the joy is strong too and will find a way to seep in and make things interesting again.  Given time.

 

Pain and dark do have power.  They are heavy to carry around and exhaust a person.  Joy is light and therefore seems inconsequential but it has power too.  Joy’s might is everywhere.  We have to be able to receive it.

 

© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

Waiting Patiently, Part 2

Patience – endurance, fortitude, perseverance, persistence, forbearance, resignation…  Do any of us have enough of this trait in any given moment of our days?  I like this definition: ‘an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay’.  Ah, a willingness to suppress – this implies that, if I want to, I can nurture this trait in myself.

 

Curiosity doesn’t have much patience with obstacles – it wants to know, and it wants to know right now.  Or wants to be or have or feel or experience…  Right now.

 

Having children requires a person to cultivate patience, Herculean patience in the face of unexplainable infant fury.  Empathy for their misery led me finally to patience.  It was my job to use my curiosity to understanding their needs and meet them if I could.  And soothe if I couldn’t.  Soothing requires patience.  Which comes in handy when the endless questions come, then the pushing of boundaries…

 

Gardening requires patience.  Plants grow even more slowly than children, but thankfully don’t have hours-long crying jags or want to know why.  I have one houseplant that I bought back in 1986 that is still going.  (My former mother-in-law even revived it from the mild frost-bite it got on a cross country trip.)  What will thrive, or make-do, or perish?  Why?  Patience is necessary to get these answers.

 

In our vegetable gardening this year, we are watching the tomatoes form and we are full of questions.  Impatient questions – how will they taste, when will they be ready?  Patient questions will get us there – how much sun, how much water?

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Diligence is part of the definition of patience.  This one I understood from childhood on – because of its importance to structure and process and ritual.  Curiosity can’t really be sated without some understanding and application of methodology.  Where would I fit the new information if I didn’t have a means to categorize it in with the information that I already possess?  Diligence comes in handy to retain the information or experience that curiosity prompted.

 

Timing is an important component.  We bought the tomato plants in May, already a couple of inches tall, knowing that tomatoes wouldn’t actually be ready until sometime in August.  Now that it is August, the patience is wearing a little thin.  The ability and willingness to suppress our restlessness for our homegrown tomatoes is getting harder to apply.  But more crucial to a successful outcome.

 

There are so many places and instances where I can apply this patience I have learned, am learning.  At work, while driving, in line, when I’m out of sorts…

 

© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

How Much ‘Summer’ in Summer?

August is upon us and the back-to-school ads have started to appear.  Gardens are about to produce tomatoes and cucumbers galore.  Leaves on trees are looking a bit tired and worn here and there after shining in their green spectrum from early pale to later deep green.  We still have a couple more months to go before the plants all go dormant for the cooler months.

 

I haven’t taken a vacation, or even devoted a whole day to summer activities, but I have vicariously enjoyed those of friends and family on Facebook and in-person telling.  And I have thought about what constitutes a summer moment so that I don’t miss them when they occur.  In early June, I wrote this piece about summer and the importance of noting this season.

 

Summer isn’t just a season, it is an idea – a representation of things to strive for like relaxation and laughter with friends and family.  It is nostalgia in a different form than what the holiday season brings forth.  The sound of children laughing in early evening brings me back to those moments in long ago yards playing tag or chasing fireflies with a group of other kids.  The joy of still being up and out in the dark when we would normally have been tucked into bed.

 

Enjoying the idea of summer in adulthood takes effort, a deliberateness that wasn’t necessary in childhood.  First we have to be conscious that this effort is even required.  Summer was spontaneous in our younger years and we might expect this to continue, we might feel discontent when it does not.

 

For several years in the transition from child to adult, I didn’t think about summer much at all.  Perhaps because I was busy figuring out what being an adult meant for me.  Perhaps because I was doing this figuring out in California, where the seasons are subtle and mostly all have the feel of summer.  It wasn’t until my children were old enough to have a summer break in school, and summers had the same rhythm they had in my childhood that I started to think about what makes summer.

 

Then I was divorced with two boys and a full time job and I had to make sure they had a summer while basically foregoing one for myself.  Or so I thought because I thought of summer as long stretches of unscheduled time to explore and enjoy.

DSC03845

Now summer comes in moments, sips, or bursts.  And I enjoy them.

  • Time on a patio with family or friends
  • The hummingbird that visits the Rose of Sharon in the corner of my yard
  • Watching the tomato plants grow and tomatoes form
  • The firefly that hovered in front of the dog and I on a late evening walk
  • The dragonfly that reluctantly posed for this picture
  • The little boy gleefully whizzing by on his bike
  • The sound of lawn mowers while I still laze in bed on a weekend
  • Thunderstorms clearing the humidity from the air

 

How much summer is in your summer so far?

 

© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

Generosity Toward a Parent

I have had a variety of conversations in recent weeks that when strung together in my thoughts seemed to have similar elements.  The conversations weren’t about the parent-child relationship, but the theme took shape.  It is a central relationship, one that plenty of people experience from each side.

 

As I became a parent, I started to look at my relationship with my own parents differently.  I hadn’t evaluated it since it was a child to adult dynamic.  But I realized that my mom particularly had changed the way that she approached our relationship so that it was adult to adult.  That shift doesn’t always happen when the child moves into adulthood – one or the other side, or both, may prevent it or resist it.

 

I used to have conversations with my mom about the parent-child relationship dynamic – in relation to ours and to mine with my boys.  The conversation tended to come up as the boys transitioned to a new stage of development.  I have really missed the conversations these past years as the boys moved through their later teens and now as I work on forging my side of the adult to adult version with each of them.

 

The shift really starts to come along at the point that the child sees the parent as a person separate from their parental role, it seems to me.  There are glimpses throughout childhood.  I am reminded of a period when the boys took to walking over to a flower shop that a neighbor ran and each buying me a single cut flower.  I think that they initially got the idea from a neighborhood girl, but then kept it up because I showed such delight in their generosity.  They were in early grade school so maybe about 6 or 8.

 

the first flower

the first flower

I’ve mentioned before that my mom went to college starting when I was in grade school.  This meant that she was enmeshed in her own homework and learning experiences.  She graduated from college the same year my brother graduated from high school.  She became an instructor at the same college that I went to and I had to learn to call out her name and not ‘Mom’ if I saw her around campus.  (Which was weird.)

 

The conversations that I have had recently range from a parent of a brand new teen to a friend with sons the same age as mine to a friend who is dealing with the infirmity of her elderly mother.  Generosity toward a parent is so rare as to be non-existent during teen years.  It is a spotty thing, it appears, for twenty-somethings.  And it is hard to sustain in the midst of a crazy-busy middle life toward a parent that is acting more like a stubborn teen.

 

I’ve thought about my responsibility as a parent to encourage my boys to be more giving in our relationship.  It seems to me that learning this must be more deliberate for children of single parents.  When parents are still a couple then each can teach the children to be giving to the other parent.

 

I’m going to have to spend some more time thinking about this.  What do you think?

 

© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

What Do You Want?

My most recent cat companion had a prickly personality.  (Which is clearly exemplified by the accompanying picture, don’t you think?)  She relied upon me for food, to clean her litter box and to provide the occasional chin scratch when she was in the mood.  The rest of the time she liked to be alone.

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We invite animals into our lives with the hope that they will offer comfort and support when we are feeling unsettled or restless, in need of reassurance.  That they will offer that unconditional affection and be available when we are having a moment, even if the moment is in the wee hours of the morning when a human companion wouldn’t feel terribly obliging.

 

It took a couple of years for the cat and I to reach a state of some type of peaceful coexistence after dancing around each other.  She came to me as a full grown, though small, three year old feline, pushed out of her original home by more aggressive cats.  I came into the relationship still mourning my beloved previous cats who had each died a few months from one another at the relatively young age of fourteen.

 

She had long fur and delusions of grandeur that her stature could not support.  The expression on her face was often a bit sour, discontent so my older son called her Captain Angry Pants, which bruised her tender ego.  My sister was enthralled with her delicate size, soft fur, and her beautiful markings but since my sister is part of a package deal that includes my three rambunctious nieces, the cat disdained her attentions as well.

 

She came to us bedraggled and quite wary, used to the name Itty if she noticed a name at all.  She had lived with her mother and father in quiet comfort, except for the dog, at a coworker’s house until the entrance of four more cats disrupted everything and she became a target, and began to misbehave.  We initially let her roam, until she proved herself unworthy by marking the newest piece of furniture in the house, so we closed her into my home office to acclimate in private.

 

This strategy proved more successful and she eventually came up to me in a low to the ground, slinking and quick to run manner when I would go in and sit quietly.  Interestingly, she first responded best to the person who became her sworn enemy, my younger son.  She actually bumped up against him, where she would just make quick passes under my raised hand for bit of touch therapy.  As she adjusted and cleaned herself up, her regal view of herself became quite apparent and so I began to call her Anastasia, Kitty of Mystery – but her disdainful expression earned her the nickname Miss Kitty Thing-thing to help her to understand her place in the household.

 

I didn’t exactly start our association ready and open to bond either.  I had woken up a couple of months prior on a work day February morning to find my cat, my baby girl in the corner fading.  I think that she was waiting for me to wake up, because she breathed her last within moments.  Of course there had been no sign of illness before that moment, as cats are wont to do.  My beloved cat and I had been together since her mother had pushed her out of the nest, almost as soon as she had opened her eyes.  She was fierce and feisty from that first meeting, clawing and shredding my hands when I fed her with a bottle, regardless of how tightly I would try to bundle her into a towel before we’d begin.  Over the years she dug deeply into my heart and made it clear that I was in hers as well.

 

Miss Kitty Thing-thing needed a place to live, but I just wasn’t ready to offer her a home any more than she seemed to want one.  We struggled, often out of sync, to create a relationship.  I rarely felt that I was getting much out of the relationship and she was most content when left to her own devices.  Finally I understood, in a small way, what many people have against cats.  They don’t need you like dogs do.  Some make it clearer than others.

 

The right cat companion will want you, will seek out your company, as my previous cats have done.  This one just didn’t have it in her, and I didn’t really try either.

 

On a cold February day this past winter she breathed her last, having barely shown signs of feeling a bit off.  We had been uneasy companions for 5 years.  She had been a bit more open to affection in recent days, had even sought me out, which I had seen as a good sign but clearly misread.

 

This time I am going slow, putting in more thought before I seek out a new kitty companion.

 

© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

The Changing Landscape

I am not a gardener, more of a putterer.  I admire gardeners and I enjoy the effect of a garden.  My back and knees don’t want to garden, though.  (They are protesting as I write this because I am itching to go and putter in the garden.)  There is something so elementally pleasing about watching things grow and thrive.

 

Last year I read an interesting book called Founding Gardeners.  I realized that I had something in common with Jefferson, Washington, and Adams besides a vested interest in the ongoing success of the ideals that created this nation – I enjoy a lot about gardening but wish that I could hire people to do the hard parts like they did.  Sometimes I manage to get my son to step in.

 

A few years ago I decided to create a garden area in my backyard in my mom’s honor.  We call it the Grandma Garden.  The object was to add plants each year for Mother’s Day and my mom’s birthday.  It was a way to stay close to her.  For many years it didn’t look much like a garden and plenty of the plants that were added didn’t make it.  (Often times thanks to the dog or other creatures, darn them.  The dog inexplicably dug up a sand cherry repeatedly and I kept finding her playing with it until it died.)

 

Last year I got a bunch of mostly evergreen plants from my sister early in the season.  I put a few in the Grandma Garden and for the first time it started to look like an actual garden area.  I had to move around a couple of boxwoods – moving plants was a revolutionary idea to me that has changed my puttering entirely.  The dog hasn’t been too kind to the boxwoods – digging near their roots unless I am vigilant.  They have been tenacious though.

 

The Grandma Garden last year.

The Grandma Garden last year.

I worried about my new plants during this past harsh winter.  The deep snow cover protected much of the plant bases but I have noticed signs of stress on the upper parts that were subjected to the wind and bitter cold.  I tried waiting to see if they would revive, and then a bit of trimming.

 

I just had to pull up one of the boxwoods.  The larger one, the one that had been more successful.  Because it was larger, it got greater doses of the winter punishment.  Now there is a big space which I am currently pondering.

 

One of the points of the garden was to find things that made me think of mom and the stories that she used to tell.  She wasn’t a gardener, but she had an appreciation for nature and she liked to dabble (a step or two more distant from gardener than putterer happens to be) in planting now and again.

 

There were large bushes in front of the house that she grew up in and every year when her dad got out the pruning tools, mom would pester him to let her trim.  That’s what the boxwoods were representing.  For now, the stunted little one that remains represents these moments in my mom’s life all by itself.

 

We think of plants as stable, but when you start to work with them you realize that gardens are ever changing.  Things thrive and things die – sometimes it doesn’t make any sense.  Sometimes the changes are subtle and sometimes dramatic.

 

Do you pay attention to the landscape around you?

 

© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

Come Banging After Me

I have lost count of the number of times that I started to learn to play the piano.  My mom had an old black upright piano that moved with us from state to state and sounded beautiful to me whenever she played – but the years and the moves weren’t kind to the poor instrument.  It was a relic of her childhood, carried over into mine.  At some point during my college years she treated herself to a new piano that now lives at my brother’s house.

 

Mom was more than happy to teach us to play when we took an interest.  But she wasn’t going to come banging after us to practice, or in any way harangue us for this or any other endeavor.  She loved to play, but had her moments during those learning years when she had to be pressed to continue by her mother.  She had a picture of herself as a concert pianist, unrealized because she didn’t put in the necessary hours of practice and single minded dedication.

 

Mom at a piano, not the one I mention - and long before she was 'mom'.

Mom at a piano, not the one I mention – and long before she was ‘mom’.

My nieces’ dance recital has brought this and other creative efforts to mind, as it does every year.  I am enchanted by the growth of their skill, poise and grace each year.  I don’t have to be there for the moments when they just don’t have it in them to go to a particular class.  When they have to make a choice between practice and another activity.  I just now realized that I haven’t ever asked my sister how much effort she puts into banging after them to work through a momentary dip in interest and effort.  I know that she puts a lot of her own time and effort into making their ability to dance a reality.

 

I took dance classes too, here and there – now and then.  We didn’t ever have the facility and the talented people that my nieces have had the pleasure to be exposed, that perhaps they don’t recognize as a gift.  The other gift that they may not recognize is the time and expense that my sister puts into their pursuit.

 

There are so many options, so many interesting pursuits that we could take on – intellectual, creative, etc.  A whole lot of factors have to convene just so to create excellence – dedication and a support system being just the start.  Regardless of dedication, sometimes the difference just comes down to having someone to come banging after you when your energy and dedication flag a bit.

 

© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

A Fitting Tribute?

How can I possibly figure out how to say what I want to about having a mom and being a mom in a single blog post?  I’m not sure, but I am going to try.  Mother’s Day is almost upon us again and it has been a bittersweet day for me for 9 years now.  It is hard for me to honor my own mom properly, since she is no longer with us, and on top of it let my boys know what might be fitting for me.

 

Growing up we had a set routine.  Dad would put the same items on the grocery list as a lead up to the day – brown and serve sausages, cinnamon rolls, eggs, something to grill for dinner.  Mother’s Day festivities started in earnest with brunch after church.  I was always in charge of the cinnamon rolls.  Dad had us all snapping to in the kitchen while mom read the Sunday paper.  The day progressed and we could have been hard pressed to tell the passing of the years except that we three children got bigger.  And the sweetly sentimental card that Dad picked out for mom would be different every year.  (Dad was a champion at picking out cards for special occasions.)

 

public domain image - vintage Mother's Day sentiment

public domain image – vintage Mother’s Day sentiment

I look back now and I wonder because I can clearly see that this ritual was more about what dad thought Mother’s Day should be than perhaps what mom did.  I don’t think any of us ever asked her if it suited what she wanted.

 

My very first Mother’s Day as a mom came shortly after I gave birth to my older son.  Daddy and son got dressed that day and went out to get me flowers and a card.  Then we three had a picnic.  It was perfect.  I couldn’t say for certain now if I participated in the planning or if our day was based on my husband’s idea of a good Mother’s Day.

 

Other Mother’s Days followed.  I got feted, and reached out long distance to my mom.  I never understood the moms who said their idea of the perfect Mother’s Day was to have time to themselves.  (Yes, that would be nice on any other day during the growing years, I agree.)  I learned from my dad’s ritual that it is important for the family to turn the tables and take care of mom.  I also learned that rituals are powerful.  (Somehow that lesson worked better for me in the personal setting than in the formal setting of church.)

 

The next Mother’s Day that comes clearly into memory was the one during my transition to single mom.  The boys and I made the trek to COSI – the science museum in Columbus, OH (we lived in southern OH then).  I had wanted to have a very special experience because we were all hurting.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to help my mom from that distance – it was her first Mother’s Day without my dad.  (We’d had a very bad start to our year.)

 

It dawned on me that year that I needed to figure out how to impart that lesson on my boys – the importance of turning the tables and showing care for mom.  I had no idea how to accomplish this task.

 

And I’m not sure now if I did a good job in the intervening years.  I do know that there are only 2 days out of the year that my older son remembers that the phone works both ways; Mother’s Day and my birthday.  (Except the year that he blew out his knee on Mother’s Day.)  My younger son has a stronger sentimental streak in him, like my dad, and has been known to make a small or even a grand gesture now and then between recognized holidays.  I expect he will make a special dinner on Sunday.

 

For good or ill, a mom is a figure who looms large for a child.  It is a most important thing and nearly impossible to get completely right, to be a mom.  The effort does deserve a fitting tribute.  Whatever that might be.

 

© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

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