A site for Mothers in a world gone mad
I am hosting Thanksgiving dinner for twelve people. I am pretty sure that if they had it their way, there would be twelve pies cooling in my back porch right now.
Clearly, we are pie zealots. In fact, if there was an organized religion we could all join that had pie as one of its central guiding principles, we never miss a Sunday. Our patron saint would be in an apron holding a rolling pin. There would be a smudgy spot of flour right in the middle of his forehead. On Thanksgiving, we would light a pumpkin spice scented candle in his honor.
Cookies are a ridiculous waste of time. Spending all that time dropping spoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheets and then waiting for each dozen to bake isn my idea of how to spend my life. Besides, about fifty percent of the cookies I bake are either too hard or too soft. And cakes are just kind of dumb and fluffy. How hard is it to open a box, crack a couple of eggs, add oil and water and bake? If I had a monkey, which I don I could teach IT how to bake a cake.
But pies? From scratch? Now pies take time, and effort, and creativity. Every slice of pie is a flaky little fruit filled wedge of love.
Last summer, I spent one glorious August afternoon picking wild blueberries with a dear friend. She was the perfect picking partner, and we spent hours squatting in an enormous bog picking some of the most beautiful berries I ever seen. I will remember that day for the rest of my life. I froze a couple of bags of the berries, and this week when I made my blueberry pies, I thought of her and that day in the bog with the sunshine on our necks and was thankful for her friendship, the memory, and those berries.
On Thursday, once the dinner dishes are cleared, I will sit at the table that first belonged to my great grandmother with most of the most important people in my life eating my pies and be thankful for the noise and the laughter and those everyone talking at once between bites moments that never come often enough in any family.
Other Thanksgivings will come to mind, too. The ones when there was always a custard pie for my grandfather, baked by my grandmother. Holidays when it was me coming home, not my grown kids. I look at the faces around my table and remember the babies that the set of young adult cousins there used to be. And for another year, I will be grateful that all five of them are happy, healthy, and whole.
The faces at my table will remind me that time passes. That chairs left empty by the passing of one generation in a family are filled by the next, and then the next. That life is a circle. Like a pie.
It takes some effort to bake a pie, raise a kid, make a marriage last. When one has been blessed with the gifts of family and health and enough of what important in life, it is easy to take all of it for granted. My prayer today is that I never do.
Some day, hope cheap michael kors fully a long time from now, someone will write my eulogy. I hope when the time comes, that I will be remembered for more good things, than bad. But if they can think of anything else to say, this would be enough:
was grateful for her many blessings. Oh, and that woman could bake one helluva pie.
I stopped wearing a watch about five years ago when the one I had quit and I never g cheap michael kors ot around to replacing it. I started depending on my phone to tell me the time of day. At first, my wrist felt naked and exposed after decades of having something strapped to it twenty four hours a day. The habit of constantly looking down and checking my left wrist died a slow death. Even now, I occasionally catch myself doing it. Often, with my cell phone in my other hand.
There is never enough of it, is there? At least that what everyone says whether they are actually busy or not. All this rushing, rushing through minutes and hours and days and years that human beings do seems kind of silly, doesn it? I wonder if animals and birds ever think about time. Yesterday, I watched our old hound as she watched a red squirrel sail between two trees in our back yard. Maggie hasn had a good romp in those wood cheap michael kors s for a couple of summers now and I wonder if she has any concept of time, how much she once had and how much she has left. Lame, deaf, and impatient, she be a prime candidate for a room with a view in a dog nursing home if there was such a thing. But instead, she has us, the people who have loved her for seventeen people years.
Last night, I fell asleep in the screen porch for the first time this year, drifting off to the sound of spring peepers in the bog across the road and waking at sunrise to songbirds in the maple trees. Is there anything more glorious than sleeping in a screen porch after a winter of darkness, down comforters, and tightly locked windows? If there is, I haven found it. Who needs an alarm clock in mid May? Who needs a watch or phone?
As a teacher, I measured time in lessons and deadlines and due dates weeks and semesters and school years. As a mother and a spouse, I measured it in childhoods ending and adulthoods just beginning as well as decades of waking up in the same house with the same partner every morning. I measure family time and cabin time and time with friends and count people years, and cheap michael kors dog years, too.
But lately, I measure time in a new and better way.
In seasons and sunrises and sounds.
In a porch, with an old gray faced dog who watches red squirrels and never asks me what time it is.
When we first met, we realized that there were quite a few years of living separating us so we did the math and then realized, in horror, that her own mother and I were exactly the same age. We became friends a few years before anyone called her and since then, she has added four little Peeps to her life who do. They are her reason for being in much the same way that most kids are to most mothers. At least the mothers I know.
She is wise and funny and fierce, which is why I adore her. She is part Yoda and part Pit Bull, and she has chewed up and spit out more school administrators and case workers and teachers than anyone I ever met. When it comes to the welfare of children, all children, there are no or or There is only NOW. There is only DO.
She is a force to be reckoned with and she gets stuff done. And it isn always pretty.
She is a foster mother. The type of person who gets a call from a social worker who needs a safe place for a child and says, time will you be here? instead of me think about it. believes that when it comes to a child who needs a loving, stable home for a night or a life time, there very little to consider.
It is Mother Day this coming Sunday. And so the young moms and the old moms and all the moms in between poor moms and privileged ones moms who work both in, and outside their homes ones who do it by choice, and chance women who raise the grandchildren and nieces and nephews who call them as well as the ones who grieve for children they lost Mother Day.
To the moms with a child in the military moms who stay awake all night in homeless shelters and the moms in refugee camps throughout the world Happy Mother Day.
To the moms who go hungry so their children can eat, and the moms who wear second hand clothes so their children don serious moms and the goofy moms musical moms and the soccer moms and the dance moms moms who wake in the night to check insulin levels the ones who make a conscious choice NOT to become mothers but lovingly teach the children of other mothers Mother Day.
To the moms who spank when they rather hug, and the moms who hug when they rather spank the moms who spend the bulk of their lives doing laundry, cooking, and cleaning up after other people with very little thanks well as the moms who have other, better paying careers than that Mother Day.
To the moms who lovingly welcome their child same sex partner and the moms who plan weddings for their children that they prefer not to have to attend at all moms who make their kids go to church every Sunday and moms who don Mother Day.