Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mommies, Memories, and Messes

The other day it was my birthday and my husband surprised me with a fantastic party. He gathered together some of the people I love most in the world and brought them to my home to celebrate the day my mother brought forth my essence.

Mother's Day always has me thinking and reflecting. First because the day always comes right after my son and I have our birthdays. I bring up the memory of my father who used to tease that he wanted three presents in June because Father's Day was always two weeks before his birthday and wedding anniversary. "I don't want them all lumped into one." Thankfully, my husband has always managed to make the three early May celebrations unique and distinct. The day ends with me feeling special and appreciated for bringing six lives into this world, five of whom are still here to share it with me.

Then Mother's Day brings up other memories because it is always about a week before what would be my own mother's birthday.

Mothers are always a missing piece for me and they are the one thing I crave. I often find myself appropriating my elderly aunts, cousins, or friends' mothers for my own. Perhaps losing mine at age four has left an indelible hole in my soul.

MS took my mother away from me and my younger brother before we even knew who we were. I think both of us have spent parts of the last 41 years wondering what it would've been like. The only thing we have are pictures and stories of my late father or siblings or relatives who tell us of her beauty, her writing, her spirit. As great as these stories are, I just know there had to be some mess.

One thing I can't stand is a messy house and I guess after having all the kids I do, I should be used to a little junk. Top that with a majority male household and you can only imagine how the laundry overflows or the dirty socks under the table or the Friday night howl out party in the family room. So I think that perhaps my mother, who at the time of her death had six children, wanted what I want...someone else to do the chores.

Yes, that is the ultimate Mother's Day Gift - the people who make the messes to actually be the ones to clean those messes. From the dishes to the laundry to the toilets, let them do it. That would be bliss. To not have to hang up someone else's wet towel or tell the teenager I'm not sure what is growing under his bed or hold back from fussing at the husband's shoes under the dining table or stepping on yet another of the daughters' baby dolls.

Messes perhaps are the memories of motherhood, who knows, but I do know that almost universal, moms would love to have the house cleaned and not have to hire someone to do it, that would make the day glorious!

So as I finish up my celebration week of my son and I having great birthdays and gathering some air in the St. Louis spring to summer brutality on asthma, I muse about tomorrow and wonder, if like me,my mom just wanted a cup of coffee, the sounds of life...and a clean house.

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