Stuck in the '70s

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is coming up in a few days. Sometimes I forget I’m a mom. I wouldn’t expect my two teen-age sons to remember Mother’s Day without a little nudging. I wrote “Mother’s Day” on our dry-erase calendar last week, but mostly for my fiancé’s benefit. I’ve not met his mother yet, and I’d like to do that this year.

I’ve had a few special Mother’s Days since I’ve been a mom over the past 17 years. I remember one in particular when the boys were small and decided to make me the proverbial “breakfast in bed.” That was a nightmare. I spent most of my Mother’s Day cleaning up the kitchen. But, it’s the thought that counts, right? I can say that now.

I don’t really even remember anything special my brothers and I did for our mom on that special day. All I can recall is making some stupid coupons, stapling them into book form and giving Mom to cash in on “hugs” and crap like that. I also remember making a waste basket in kindergarten out of an empty Baskin Robbins’ ice cream container. I painted it blue, glued some construction paper flowers around the top rim and wrote “Mom” sloppily in crayon on one side. Dad still has it in use under his bathroom sink.

My mom was what we now call a “stay-at-home” mom, although she did everything but stay at home. Oh, she was always there at the house when I was – that is, unless of course, we were out shopping together. She was always there when we came home from school or on the weekends when we came in from long hikes up the creek or playing “kick the can” on a summer night.

But, by day, Mom was out and about. She would be out yard-saling with my grandma or my aunt; or she’d be helping in one of our classrooms as a “room mother.” Sometimes, she’d be gone on a club bus trip she’d arranged to Chicago or St. Louis or some other exotic destination that just happened to have a huge shopping mall. Other times, she’d be preparing for a Cub Scout meeting or teaching 4-H kids how to draw. Lots of times, she’d be out puttering in the yard, adding the touches that made it pretty, or inside, keeping the house clean and tidy, or getting the next meal ready.

Mom made camping trips seem not so far from home by bringing most of it with us. She did all the packing, and she never forgot anything.

My mom was pretty popular with the neighborhood kids, mainly because she made a sweet ice tea you could stick your sock to if you spilled some on the kitchen floor – and we always did. She’d encourage our Kool-Aid stands and usually buy half of it herself when business was slow.

If you’ve got a mom handy, just spend some time with her this Sunday. Or, if she prefers, get the heck out of her sight. It’s not the flowers you give her or the meals you try to prepare her in her domain that you and she will remember. Just spend your day treasuring her and being grateful for all she’s done for you and all she will do.

I miss ya, Ma.


  • At 10:50 PM, Anonymous Charlie said…

    Thanks for your note about your mother, Julie. She had a lot in common with my mother, who we lost last year. I've thought, and cried, about her much today. And Dad, who we lost this year. I miss them both. They were 90 and 97...but I wanted them to reach 120.

    Like you, I'm from near Peoria...just "stumbled" upon your websites this evening while trying to find some info on WIRL. Your sites are very interesting. Thanks.

  • At 12:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow. I didn't know I lived in an "exotic location" (i.e. St. Louis)...hee hee hee.



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