About Mother

This is a post about Mother. Not A Mother, just about Mother.

First: she is not, and never will be, perfect. She doesn't even hope to be. But she tries, over and over again, just to do her best - and hopes it will all 'come out in the wash.'

She and daddy brought that Little bundle home, in the car seat because it was against the law to hold him/her in her arms, in the back set because that's where the car seat had to be strapped in. She always tried to follow the rules. The Question of the Day was, "what do we do when he wakes up?" (Baby will be named in this blog "She" or " He" intermittently to make it easier to write.)

No answer was forthcoming, because neither Parent could know. No matter how much experience each had with other people's kids, things were different with your Own. First Kid was first in the lineup every time. Every whimper was a scare and needed immediate attention. What do we do, when--?

Every whimper, clean thru graduation. Not audible whimpers, but daily happenings. You gotta share money, belongings, treats, most of all Time. Mother has only one set of hands and a finite set of resources.

Later whimpers sometimes had to wait. She tried but impossible situations sometimes had to wait for slower solutions. Like whimpers from Kid Number Two, or Three, or...

She tried loving. She tried explanations. She tried dividing attention. She tried rewarding. She tried answering the loudest petitions. She tried penalties. She tried punishment. She tried positive reinforcement and using the old psychology. A million times a day. Anything might work. Nothing might work.

But always there was the Need for Mom--for Mom to work it all out. For Mom to figure what needed to be done first, and next, and last.

And it never ends. When Kid Number One is halfway trained, Kid Number Two is there, and so on. Mom dearly loves each one, loves the opportunities each one learns as she faces the world within her family and later outside its boundaries. Mother gives answers and "things" that she HOPES will equip each Kid for Life.

And finally the Kid grows up and moves out, into life. Mother misses each one, but is perfectly willing to let him pay his own way and experience the experiences of his own. She knows how busy the Kid will be, because she has seen it all in her own life and other lives she watched. She knows days' ends will bring satisfaction. And sadness. Loneliness, or too much busy-ness. And pure joy.

She wants to help, so she listens to others' advice--she watches and butts in. Or zips up her lips and lets the Kid suffer his own just desserts.

Does he need money? She "lends" it. Does she need a good meal? Mother's right there with help. Does she need a listening ear? Here's where she better tread carefully, because that's the hardest thing to give, advice.

And does Mom ever have the right to ASK for help? Is time freely given? And the Kid's resources available? Does he answer, willingly? Does he help before he's asked? He is not doomed to ry to repay what his parents shared--that is not fair and is not required.

But please remember. When the Kid is self-sufficient, rolling along in the Happy-Mobile, Mother is behind him, still wishing for him the best, and waiting for her recognition and thankfulness. Then she remembers all the love she shared and just hopes that her best that she gave willingly has filled the bill.

And she waits.

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