My mom and I haven’t always had the easiest relationship.
She and I are completely different people, after all. Where I scurry around like one of Cinderella’s mice trying to help her get to the ball, literally looking for something to clean or put away or do every 5 minutes, my mom recognizes the importance of rest and takes opportunities to enjoy life through a mug of hot tea, a book, or an old movie. My mom is a lover of many things… a collector of many things… an owner of many things. I hate clutter, and find things to get rid of on a daily basis. I love The Office, she doesn’t get it. She loves Big Bang Theory, I don’t get it. If she sees a nail polish she likes, she buys it. If I see a polish I like, I agonize over whether I should spend the $8 on it – even if it’s the color I’ve been looking for for months.
Even though we love getting together, our differences have always driven each other crazy – she doesn’t understand why I like my calendar so full of activities and I can’t understand how she is content to be in the house all day, and to quote Yul Brenner, etc., etc., etc. (Yes, I know that’s bad grammar, but we both love that movie). So visits were short, if at all, and conversations were always touchy. We love each other fiercely, we just don’t have an easy time of it. Two different people, with two very different approaches to life. We are both happy living our lives the way we do, but we’ve always had a way of frustrating each other when in close quarters for too long.
I knew immediately that I wanted my mom in the delivery room, and I called her to tell her. She was, of course, thrilled and touched that I wanted her there, and we started making loose plans for her to drive down sometime around Emily’s due date, stay for maybe a week, then head back home. It was never said out loud (it never is), but I think deep down we both knew how much of each other we could handle and were fine with a shorter visit.
About 3 weeks before my due date, I was dilated to 1cm. My OB decided to strip my membranes (I can’t remember why), to see if that would encourage things to progress. She warned me that it might cause me to go into labor, so I should be aware of the signs. Excitedly, I called my mom to let her know that I might be having her first grandchild that weekend. She was happy, but as this was 3 weeks before her planned visit, she wasn’t sure she was ready to come down. I was bummed and hurt that she might miss the birth, but there wasn’t anything I could do so I let it go.
The next day Jay and I were rear-ended in a car accident. Nothing major, but it was enough for me to hope labor would start (did I mention I don’t enjoy pregnancy?), and there was enough damage to force us to pull over and wait for the police. I somehow managed to stand right in a huge anthill, and as Jay and I are standing on the side of a busy road, he looking for the police and me scratching my swollen ankles, I get a call from my beautiful mother.
She was asking if she could drive down that day to stay with us until Emily’s arrival.
I remember being shocked, especially since she didn’t seem that concerned when I’d called the night before. I wasn’t sure I’d heard her right, but yes, she wanted to come down immediately. She’d heard from friends that the procedure I’d had done almost always caused labor, and she wanted to be there to welcome her new granddaughter into the world. She wanted to be there for me.
I remember crying when the officer showed up, and she was concerned that I was in pain from the accident. I told her no, I was fine, I was just so happy my mom was coming down.
And I remember feeling more loved by my mother than I ever had before in my life. Especially when I didn’t go into labor as expected that weekend. Or the weekend after, even though my membranes were stripped a second time. No, it was the 3rd week of my mom’s visit that labor began, naturally, all by itself. My mom was there for the delivery (as was my amazing hubby and my ever-supportive and encouraging mother-in-law). And my mom stayed for nearly a week after Emily was born to help me settle in and adjust to mommyhood.
My mom was with us for almost an entire month. It wasn’t always easy – it had to have been even harder for her than it was for me… I’m not the nicest when I’m pregnant. But she did it. For me.
Whenever I’m having a hard time understanding or relating to my mom, I think of that visit. She was there for Julia’s birth too, but there was something so incredibly selfless and compassionate about her giving up an entire month of her life for Emily’s birth just because I needed her.
I may not understand my mom, but I understand her love for me. This one event in my life showed me that despite the differences I may have with my daughters I can always show my love and support – all I need to do is be there when they need me. I pray every day that my girls are as sure of my love for them as much as I’m sure of my mother’s for me.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you. ❤