mothers and daughters and the empty nest

Memory flooded my mind these weeks. Perhaps leisure during Labor Day Weekend allows that for some of us. This holiday, a century old acknowledgment for those who labor around us, building and mending our structures and infrastructures, three days that neatly divide summer from fall, freedom days from the job-filled days, a weekend when 35 million people hit the road or take to the skies for one last fling, or in the case of many travelers, bring their college students to their respective college; regardless, that long weekend filled me with images. It wasn’t all that long ago that I too drove the highways for that task, and although I would say I eventually got better at those goodbyes, I am reminded of a first one, many years ago, made easier by the wisdom of my mother.

Mothers and their daughters. I do suppose one might say, fathers and sons, but for me, as a daughter and a mother, these two relationships have loomed large. If fact the complexity is still unfolding for me, the relationship I had with my mother, the one I still forge with my daughter. Some of my mother’s finest gifts took years to appreciate. Remembering a Labor Day weekend, years ago, me with a SUV packed full with my daughter and her ‘bare essentials’ as a Freshman entering college, and my mother waiting for us in a five star hotel, is certainly one of those gifts.

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Dear Parents

Dear Parents,

First of all, a big thank you to all of you who hang in there. Who continue to show up for those noisy crazy little beings. Perhaps a special shout out for those of you who learn to grow along side them too. (In this area I was fortunate, in that just about every roundabout loony or otherwise twist and turn my siblings and I took, at least one of our parents understood, or learned to).

But what I really want to suggest today, is to be adventuresome with your kids. I know you’re tired. I know too many of you are between jobs or down on your luck, and working with all your inner resolve just to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Regardless, those little ones need to see the shiny side of life. They need movement to exert themselves and they need art to be uplifted. At the end of each day they need all the light you can provide.

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Honor Her

As we approach this Sunday in May when families sing the praise of the woman who brought them into this world, or the woman who adopted them, those mothers and step-mothers or aunts and grandmothers, let us also remember the mentors and caregivers, for there are many ways to mother after all; let us collectively nod our heads to those who nursed through feverous nights or cheered during wet soccer games and heralded us along with a nudge and even a song. Mother’s Day celebrates the cycle of love spiraling down the generations, from those who mother to all the rest. Honor her, in her multitude of forms, indeed.

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Little Disruptions

We easily fall into schedule and routine, and for many days are glad to do so, with evenings often as busy as day, papers to score, correspondence to attend to, plans to sort out, even those daily chores to complete before night stumbles into day. And then, as they often do when life gets rolling, disruptions arrive.

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Stand, Again

There is more to a person’s legacy than diamonds and pearls, although seeing those valued trinkets passed down the generations sean5does warm my heart. My mother’s real legacy is her reminder to stand back up after one has fallen into tough years, and not with her words, but with her actions through all those tough years. It is easier to reminisce about carefree summers on the beach or raising a hopeful glass on New Year’s Eve than admit to harsher seasons, but recalling how my mother navigated with 4 teenagers plus 2 younger children, a husband who was intently searching for a way out of his own angst, all amidst the turbulent 1960’s, those years show what tough really looks like. We didn’t have an easy time of it. She most of all. Family photos reveal more about the unseen than anticipated. But never did she stop believing that we would make it through to a sunnier day.

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Locked Down

As true today as it was when I first posted this blog, on July 25, 2013. Gun related violence isn’t going away. In fact, we have even more of a pressing need to ask the tough questions to solve this epidemic. Let’s work together to keep our children safe.

Nine Cent Girl

tumblr_mqhzi8AQyp1rbhtdeo1_500This morning the radio clicked on at 6:00 am, and as my spouse and I usually do after hearing the morning headlines, we both reached for our iPhones to check emails, texts, Facebook statuses and Twitter feeds. Yes, we like a broad picture of the wide world beyond our valley vista before feet hit the solid ground. What stayed with me was an emotional Facebook status posted by a strong and smart young mother: “Sometimes I lay awake at night and I think about that guy shooting all of those innocent babies in an elementary school…….and there is not a damn thing anyone can do about it, then, now, or ever.” As I laced up to head out for a morning run I wondered how many other mothers feel the same today, in mid-July…feel that crippling powerlessness parents all over our country feel every time they wave goodbye…

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Ocean Respite

Two weeks living on the ocean’s edge, the only constants in my day was the sound of pounding surf and sand on my feet, a morning swim and bike ride to get milk or meet the ferry as more family arrived, filling the wagon with luggage and boxes of food, a walk along the shore, beach volleyball, afternoons riding the waves, beach yoga, shucking corn, beach dance music, eating peaches, beach runs, ice cream, laughing, moonlit swims, and letting the clock hands fade for a brief time-less span. Our only agenda, unwind and restore.

 

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