When I married just weeks shy of my twentieth birthday the plan was to support my husband through university and then we were going to travel through Europe. Best laid plans don’t always go as planned…right! I was one of those very few women who got pregnant while on the birth control pill. Isn’t the pill supposed to be 99% effective??? Possibly the careless manner in which I took my pills contributed to its ineffectiveness…missing a day here, taking two a day later, etc. I was very young (21) when I had my daughter and my son came along 18 months later. When I first became pregnant I was devastated…after all, this wasn’t going to happen to me. However, shortly after the shock wore off I was over the moon about having a baby. In truth, I don’t think anyone is ever totally prepared to have children. Since there isn’t a manual with a definite right and wrong way to raise children aren’t we all just winging it, trying to get through the day as best we can? In life’s journey of “sliding door” moments, I’m happy the motherhood door opened for me. I know with 100% certainty that having my children is the best thing that ever happened.
In the early 1970s, it wasn’t cool to be a stay at home mom. It was at the height of the women’s movement (which I fiercely supported). Women were encouraged to get a secondary education, have a profession and become a dynamic member of the workforce. However, it never occurred to me that I could be a working mom. That term has always bothered me…does it mean that if you are at home all day caring for your children you are not working??? Any way I can remember being at parties in the 80s, and upon meeting new people, the dreaded question was, “So, what do you do?”. It got to the point that I would answer, “I put out fires”. This usually caused confused looks or raised eyebrows, but it was true. I had two teenagers and a husband who had his own business, and there was always a crisis that had to be handled. Somehow most of us get through to the other end with children we love more than anything, and if that isn’t enough, we may be lucky enough to have grandchildren. I have three grandsons who I adore, and so far they still think I am OK too.
Mother Nature, who I admire and respect for her powerful force, shares her gifts with all of us. As I rake up the dried leaves around the roses and shrubs I’m always amazed (and grateful) to see the promise of life with the green leaves and flowers to come. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the tulips and peonies pocking through the ground and I wonder how is it possible that these tender beings are able to survive the harsh winter conditions?
Although Mother Teresa never had children of her own, she selflessly cared for so many. I always loved seeing Mother Teresa and Princess Diana (also a wonderful mother and humanitarian) together. It’s almost ironic (and tragic) that they died within days of each other.
I am lucky enough to still have my mom. Although we are very different, she shares my love of gardening and has taught me a lot about how to grow a beautiful garden, especially roses. My grandmother was an avid gardener too. I dug out the peonies from her garden and planted them in my side garden. It’s a special memory of her when I see these beauties blooming in all their glory.
This weekend we celebrate Mothers. To my readers who are Mothers, I hope you have a wonderful, pampered weekend.