For The Boys
Mother’s Day is Sunday. When my mom was alive, this was a day feted like few others. Dad would have it no other way, for he knew how much it meant to her. We’d stand by her bedroom door waiting for her to come out, give her a cape made out of a sheet, a scepter (which in actuality was one of our batons) – even the dog had a ‘Happy Mother’s Day‘ sign around his neck. Coffee first – always. Then gifts and cards (she felt cards were a critical component of the whole thing). In retrospect, we took the Hallmark holiday to almost ridiculous levels. As teenagers, Deb and I would roll our eyes at the theatrics involved – Dad reminding us repeatedly to make sure that she not be disappointed by any failure of our memories, the Queen for a Day spectacle expanding in scope as we got older. As dad’s health began to fail, we just celebrated her as much as we could – though nothing really compensated for what she was losing.
I come at this though from a different place. Boys perhaps are different – more muted in their expressions, though arguably more consistent. And this is really about them. Whether they read this or not is moot; it is for them in absentia.
If it wasn’t for the boys, I wouldn’t be one of those women for whom Mother’s Day is intended. My boys. Really, the appreciation should be directed their way. They are not perfect; I have no illusions. They are however the perfect sons for me. They each came equipped with unique characteristics that amaze, delight, occasionally frustrate and always, always reinforce my wonder that I got so lucky. So blessed. I wish I could still hold them in my lap, yet I also love hearing their expanding world views. I can touch their heads and remember them nestled in the crook of my neck, and then blink and re-focus on a conversation about work, current events, the Stanley Cup. I crave them – I aways have. And though I knew from the time I was able to toddle that I wanted to be a mom, I never knew I would be a mom to men who I like as much as I adore. Their love is nutritious – even though I’m not sure what the RDA is. All I know is that when I’m with them, I am the better part of me. I look at them with occasional disbelief – these men, as boys were mine. These men allowed me to be a mom. And as convoluted as it may sound, Mother’s Day celebrates them. They are my greatest treasures, my heart, my soul. They are my history and I am watching them travel into their futures. And to take a line from my dad, “more loved [they] cannot be”. Thank you for being the sons I always wanted, and becoming the remarkable men that you are.