The Norman Transcript

May 17, 2013

The reality of Mother’s Day


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — The path to the celebration of Mother’s Day is fraught with countless thorns, discomforts and lots of joy.

There is the pregnancy and the birth, neither of which is a pleasant experience in itself. If it were easy and pleasant, why aren’t the men lining up to experience such fun as well? Sorry, guys, biological impossibility is not an acceptable excuse.

Following the fun birthing, come the baby, toddler and teenage years, also known as quicksand heaven. If a mother is going to make a mistake, the vigilant child and teen will catch it and remember forever, ready to hit playback at a moment’s notice.

Some mothers make one feel warm and loved, while others are human beings moving through life with a cloud over, around and inside them.

As is the case with such “cloud covered” mothers, there are people who rarely recall the good works wrought by their mothers and prefer to clutch to their bosoms every perceived wrong and every mistake their mothers have ever committed. Could it be that the “cloud gene,” which they obviously inherited, skipped the parent and is inherited from a grandparent?

A friend comes from a home where their core family plus the grandmother lived together in cloudy disharmony. She often talks about her mother and grandmother and their permanently dour dispositions, along with examples thereof.

The minute her father arrived home from work, the mother would start her litany of complaints and bad news, never allowing the poor man a moment’s peace. One has to wonder how my friend managed to duck and avoid the moment when the “cloud gene” tried to leap from the older women and latch onto her. She is nothing like those women.

Along similar lines of behavior are women who may punish their misbehaving children, but when their husbands come home, they perform the “see how I suffer” dump and the children may receive punishment from the father as well. Are the children receiving just punishment or the brunt of the father’s frustration with his wife?

The good news is children grow up and Mother’s Day becomes a special occasion. It is filled with experiences we may not have expected but come Monday morning we willingly unburned to anyone willing to lend an ear.

Consider the wonderful experience of another friend. Her mother-in-law arrived for a prolonged visit at the home of the only daughter-in-law who still speaks to her. One would think gracious would be the operative word when it comes to the behavior of said mother-in-law, but you would be wrong. Try never satisfied and always complaining. How long before even this daughter-in-law refuses to have anything to do with the woman?

When I hear such sad stories of less than wonderful mother-in-laws, I count my blessings because Hubby’s mother was loving, kind and did not butt into our business.

After we became engaged, Hubby took me home to meet his parents. Mom’s first words to me were “If Jim loves you then we love you.”

Whenever she was asked how many children she had, Mom would answer “Eight. Four are ours and the other four are ours as well by marriage.”

My mother was an amazing lady. She was the heart and soul of our family. When she passed on to a better place, a piece of all our hearts was broken.

No matter where you fall in the spectrum of good to bad memories of your mother, the essential thing to remember is that contrary to popular belief and unrealistic expectations, mothers are human. No matter how much we may protest the incontrovertible truth, humans make mistakes. But we still love our mothers.

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and author. Check out her novel “The Dionysus Connection” on Amazon or ask your bookstore to order it for you. Visit her website: www.elizabethcowan.com.