Sunday is Mother’s Day and since Will’s Mother’s Day gift to me is to let me be as far away from my computer as possible, I didn’t want to miss wishing my own wonderful mother a happy, happy day.
As a mother of four very different, but equally challenging children, my mother has seen it all. I have relied upon and absorbed as much of my mother’s life lessons as possible--sometimes she gives advice directly; sometimes I learn through observation. She’s taught me much more than just ten lessons, but below are just some of the gems I’ve garnered these first thirty-five years of my life that I thought others of you may enjoy:
1. There is never enough good wine and good friends, both preferably enjoyed simultaneously.
2. Marry someone smart, kind, gentle, loving, doting, humble and loyal. And then make sure you run the house.
3. You’ll never _______________ unless you ask.
(The __________ to be filled in with such impossibilities as the following examples):
a. Sit next to the pilots in the cockpit of an Air France jet (post-9/11) for the entire duration of a cross-Atlantic flight because the turbulence is making you 'nervous;'
b. Have President Clinton rewrite his hand-written personal “Thank You” note to you because he misspelled your first name;
c. Receive a personalized photograph wishing your 10-year-old son “Happy Birthday” from his baseball hero, Don Mattingly.
4. If you like something, buy two. At least.
5. When everything in your life seems to be falling apart around you, pick up a good book. It will always help.
6. Cursing and/or nudity are never acceptable in a movie, unless the actors are British or the movie is subtitled.
7. The flight attendant instructions given before flying are universal and should be applied daily—put your oxygen mask on first before helping your children and others around you. In other words, if Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
8. There is absolutely nothing wrong with striving to be Lady Cora from Downton Abbey. If you fall short, you will likely act more like Nathan Lane’s character from “The Birdcage,” which is pretty darn good, too.
9. It is possible to make each of your children feel special and supported, even the fourth pea-on-the-vine, opinionated, difficult child who chooses to become obsessed with a six-day-a-week, eight-hour-a-day ‘hobby’ like ballet.
10. At the end of the day, you have succeeded at parenting if your children stay out of jail during the first eighteen years of their life. Everything else is cream.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mother! I haven’t accomplished all ten yet (except #10 … so far), but I keep trying every day. Thank you for everything you have taught me as a mother, as a woman, and as a friend. I am a lucky, lucky daughter!
PS – for a little less attempted humor and a little more schmaltz, here is my Mother’s Day post from last year.
PPS – Wishing all of my mother friends and family a happy YOU day on Sunday!