“Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels.”
Isn’t that lovely. Now let’s talk about my week.
Last Sunday evening, as we enjoyed the great food and great company of a Brazilian friend and his family, whose wife I had met exactly once before, Mary vomited violently all over me and all over the kitchen of said family. I arrived home in borrowed clothing, still stinking of vomit, and proceeded to spend the next 48 hours on the couch, with the poor child heaving every two or three hours. Day three the puking seemed to slow down (although there was an unfortunate incident in her bedroom which required the use of our steam cleaner), so of course the diarrhea began. Lovely. Oh, and I was sick that day too, but only for a few hours — even after breastfeeding for more than a year, the 33-year-old immune system trumps a two-year-old one.
When a young child is sick, I can think of no better purpose for her mother than to sit and hold her until she feels better. Plus I watched movies, so it wasn’t all bad. The aftermath is not too pretty, though. Not only is my house a disaster (Some of you who only have a child or two probably can’t quite imagine the mess a family of six can make in a three day period. Plus the vomit-y bedding, clothing, etc.) but Mary is a disaster too. Matt thinks she has PTSD from all of that wretching — has to be frightening to a little one, no?
Which brings me to this morning, lovely honored Mother’s Day. Matt had a 6:30 church meeting, so I was awakened just before seven by Mary screaming at the top of her lungs for peanuts. She’s had a whole series of food dreams this week (all of that vomiting makes you hungry?) where she wakes up screaming furiously — one morning for a sandwich, which she accused Ben of stealing, another for a donut, and another for a cookie. But this morning it was peanuts, and she would not be consoled, even after I was sure she was fully awake. And alas, there were no peanuts in my cupboard. Matt was home soon after this, but even with his help, the church preparations were a little hairy, and by our appointed 8:45 departure time, three of the four children were crying.
Church on Mother’s Day is always inspiring. You can count on hearing the Abe Lincoln quote about his “angel” mother. I on the other hand, felt like no angel as I observed one child who is old enough to know better letting snot drip from his nose and another child picking his nose until it bled. Inspiring, isn’t it? Of course there were the typical squabbles over fruit snacks and crayons. We finally got everyone off to class at the end of the meeting, and I could relax and go to my own classes.
Matt is juggling child care and dinner preparations this afternoon, trying to give me a break and I’m trying not to be too cynical. I know several mothers who detest Mother’s Day. It just seems like a sham — someone makes you french toast and buys you some flowers, there’s a homemade card or a corsage, but still the children are whining, complaining, and arguing. You can take a little break, but it’ll probably just mean more work for tomorrow. It’s really just like every other day.
One of our speakers today told about Anna Jarvis, who was the mother of Mother’s Day, so to speak. She realized after only a few years that she had created a monster, and began to fight the over-commercialization of the holiday. She never had children, but her experience was a lot like motherhood — a lot more work than you’re expecting, and it doesn’t always turn out as you had pictured it.
p.s. I realize this post is kind of negative for such a special day. I love you mom. And Vicki. And I love being a mother. Really.