” I used to wonder why my mom was always the last one out of the house. I thought for a while it was because she took the longest to get ready.I figured she sometimes waited until the last minute.I had the suspicion she didn’t want to go out in public without her hair done or lip liner on, even though I couldn’t imagine why a mom would care so much, really.
I only recently figured out the answer, having become a mom myself.Because while the rest of us waited outside, all bundled up in the scarves and jackets and hats she had pulled from storage, or smothered in sunscreen she had smeared on our faces while we clutched the flip-flops and swimsuits she had doled out, and rolled our eyes about how long she was taking—Mom was filling thermoses with hot chocolate,and packing picnic lunches,and making sure the bathroom light was off,and refilling the dog’s water bowl,and grabbing a spare change of clothes for us just in case,and searching through the junk drawer for a coupon,and taking a hot minute to use the bathroom by herself for a change,and yes, maybe dabbing on a bit of lipstick.
And whenever she did finally appear, pulling on her jacket as she locked the front door, she was always met with an exasperated,“Come OOOONNN, Mom!”To which she would respond by shooting daggers from her eyes.For the longest time, I didn’t get it. She had started at the same time we did!
Then I became a mom. And it finally dawned on me that my mom wasn’t the last one out because she was lazy or disorganized or slow or overly concerned about her appearance . . .It was because she took care of absolutely everyone and everything else before she took care of herself. And that’s just what moms do.”
I am feeling very nostalgic for the days of being a young mum.
I was always very energtic and worked in the theatre as an actress/dancer/singer or director (with the four little ones in tow!) for as long as I could before I just couldn’t take the arthritic hip pain anymore.
When my youngest of four children,the twins,were in grade one I finally had my first hip replacement. I was just learning how to walk again and I couldn’t break the 45 degree angle to get out of a low chair so Terry built up our lazy boy recliner so that I could easily stand right up. When the children would leave for school in the morning I would be sitting in that pink chair to wave to them my good-bye from the window (as they only had to cross the road and they were at St. Phillip’s.)
Then, I would use the crutches to get around as best as I could and water the plants or do the dishes or any other jobs I could do in that situation. I kept the house up as best as I could until about 3 pm when I would sit back down in time for the children to return home.
I remember my daughter, Lana, made me laugh so hard one day when she said, “Mummy, I’m just like you!” “Why?” I replied delightfully. “Because you just sit in that chair all day. You’re lazy. Just like ME!” Of course, that was her impression : I was there when she left for school and I was still there when she returned…ha ha ha.
As my children grew older they often had to ‘wait for mom’ . I couldn’t walk fast anymore and used a cane for years and years before my recent foot operation. But my two boys and two girls learned a lot from this experience with their pokey mum.
They learned to have empathy for those in a wheelchair (I myself was in one for seven years and many times after that period too). They learned to make their own beds and lunches and other things I might have naturally just done for them. They learned to be kind to each other and helpful to me when I couldn’t help myself (like if I dropped something out of reach) and in turn helpful to any others who might need it.
They waited for me if we went on a walk and never ever complained about it. And I still feel their love and caring when I have the pleasure of their company in my older years.
I know my own mum did everything for us when we were little. I wish I had offered to help her more when I was home. How blessed we are to have our mothers!
I think I’ll call my mum today.