Labor not lost

Happy Mother’s day y’all. I spent mine washing all the windows and getting the screens up, followed by some weeding and trimming in the garden. David and Pete, per my request, devoted a chunk of time to cleaning out the garage. I adore getting things done. As a reward for our collective labor, David grilled steaks and potatoes; steamed beets and even squeezed limes for a well deserved but (unauthorized) margarita.

My big kids both called (Pete penned a sweet note) and I telephoned my mothers in turn. And then, as one is wont to do on such a holiday, spent some time thinking about what it means to be a mother.

For me, everything. There is nothing that is more important to me than my three children. They never cease to intrigue, surprise, occasionally confound and ultimately amaze. If I were not Jemesii, August and Peter’s mom, I would hope to be their friends.

And no, I don’t believe the two roles are interchangeable. I have never tried to be my children’s pal. I feel as if doing so would have compromised my role as a parent (somebody has to be in charge and it’s too much to expect of a child) and possibly invaded their personal space.

At any rate, the mother/child relationship has a very different dynamic than friendship, which is vulnerable to the whims of one party. By definition, you cannot initiate or maintain a friendship without mutual agreement.

The love I feel for my children is independent of any external forces. I love them each absolutely and without expectation. And, although I need to love them, I don’t need for them to love me.

Crazy talk, you might say. But not really. Just as most parents do, I desire a close relationship with my children. I am pretty sure I have one. What I don’t want is for my children to feel tethered or that they owe me anything: filial obligation is not part of my personal construct.

Jemesii, August and Peter; thank you. Being your mother is the greatest gift imaginable. As you make your place in the world, keep your hearts open. And never forget that I love you all, always.

My first born, Jemesii

8 responses to “Labor not lost

  1. cheryl shields


    Only you could have written that eloquent and heartfelt piece of literature. I read your blogs and am in awe of your resilence, commitment to life, open heart and sense of adventure.

    What an honor to be part of your circle of friends.


  2. ❤ ❤ love you momma

    (I was such a cutie patootie)

    ❤ jemesii

    • Hey cutie patootie, damned if I didn’t have to scratch my head again about that mathematical symbol followed by a three. But, I figured it out, I did. Heart you too.


  3. Happy Mother’s Day 🙂 You make motherhood sound very, very tempting. Your kids are lucky to have a mother who wishes them the best as they move forward. Catherine

    • Thanks Catherine. I don’t always get it right, but I do my darnedest to find the balance between nurture and nudge. And when I miss the mark, I say I’m sorry–two words that can also be quite empowering. Interestingly, my own daughter doesn’t want to have children–and that is the right decision for her. My sons? Time will tell.


  4. and that my dear friend is why your children are such wonderful human beings – you have loved and cherished them and taught them to honor who they – again – you Rock!

    • Amy, they are each such strong, unique people that we would have had quite a battle on our hands had I tried to mold them in any way whatsoever. Sometimes we just have to agree to disagree. And yet, every once in a while I see signs of parental influence 🙂


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