Happy Mother’s Day! A special shout out to my mother, Estelle, even though I will have to relate this message directly, as the mere mention of blogs and social networking brings an immediate head-shake and the you’ll-all-be-sorry speech. And, of course, a warm heart-filled appreciation for my wife Jackie, who is the mother of our 2 chow chows.
I blame marketing alone for the opening of two mother-themed movies this weekend: BABIES and MOTHER AND CHILD. One of my screenings at work last week showed the latter, and I took the opportunity to watch it before knowing that the film told the story of an adoptee and her birth mother. So, as someone who has been considering finding his own birth mother, the story effortlessly tossed my emotions around like a beach ball. I highly recommend the movie, but don’t watch it if you plan to interact professionally with co-workers and clients during the credits.
The film encouraged my quest for my origins, but at the same time, it deepened my appreciation for my adoptive parents. It reminded me of the difficult journey they pursued to adopt me, and the years of loving me despite all of my emotional outbursts and rebellious insanity. And, I noticed that the story hit me hardest when it triggered memories of the little moments in my family journey.
When discussing the pros and cons of raising a family, parents always say, “It’s the little things that make it all worth it.” Of course, those stories don’t always start out so wonderful. One couple talked about the hours and hours of screaming and crying over a lost Sponge Bob eraser. I quickly filed the story under “Cons,” until they marveled how the tension of the day washed away when bed time arrived, and they saw the “angel” sleeping soundly – what?! So, the “Pros” of having kids is that they eventually sleep? Or, perhaps the difference between terror and bliss is the eyeballs.
Over time, though, I’ve realized that perspective is the ultimate secret of parenthood. For example, before having children, many had my experience - crippling fear of all the changes and uncertainties of parenthood. But, the after-birth experience receives consistent praise as “the best - life-choice - ever!”
Most people just have children without thinking twice. My cousin warned me not to think too hard, or I will end up without children. So, it seems that all my concerns should be ignored, and trust that “the little things” will make my morbid list irrelevant. And the perspective will be the measure of my memories.
Regardless of whether I raise my own family, I will always have my own little things to remember, such as how my mom called me Uga Mugga. Or, how she used to get me a glass of milk in the middle of the night. Or, how it feels to dance the polka with her.
And, I continue to create the little moments with my mother to savor and appreciate. And in that spirit, I will now go tell my mother how I honored her publicly in cyber space, and then I will sit back with a cup of coffee, and enjoy the moment of another you’ll-all-be-sorry-for-Facebook speech.