If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Mother's Day Message

 Yes, I know that Mother's Day was last month.  I even acknowledged it with a post...

Oh no!  I didn't set it to publish and it is still sitting in my drafts!  Sorry Mama!  

I did go see my Mama and spent a little time with her on THE day.  We also spent a little time with Mike's mother on THE day as well.  My children both came to see me on Saturday before and spent a little time with me and that was wonderful as well.

I think I am just old and forgetful and didn't publish the post I drafted... or maybe it was because I have been feeling poorly.  Yes, I'm still struggling with this darn sinus/ear infection mess that started in mid-April.  That will be my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

Anyway, I was thinking of my Mama this morning as I was wandering round the back yard and sipping coffee.  No, that is not something my Mama ever did nor does - because she is allergic to coffee.  But, I was wandering round and deadheading and dumping out the water to keep my geraniums from "getting wet feet" and just picking and poking at my plants.  THAT is something that my Mama does.  She doesn't just go outside and take a book or her digital tablet reading material or a good old fashioned magazine and veg out with a cup of coffee and soak up the great outdoors relax and sit idly for hours to take in the beauty of nature - like I do.  She tends to wander round, often with a plastic bucket and some clippers, and picks and pokes at her flowers.

Anybody could tell that, too.  Her flower beds are beautiful.  They look like some sort of botanical garden or park.  Even though she says she isn't a big fan of the color green, nobody would ever believe that because she certainly has a green thumb and enjoys all sorts of greenery and growing plants.  She loves roses and has transformed an old, rugged, scraggly, rough bank in her back yard into a beautiful rose garden complete with a sweet statue surrounded by soft pink shrubbery and roses and backed by a whimsical birdhouse and a fence with an heirloom rose that came from her grandfather climbing all over the lattice.

That thumb and her plant knowledge is one of those things that must have turned out to be incidental learning for me because I never recall having a lesson on how to pick and poke at your flowers.  I just recollect that Mama has always done that.  She usually does it early in the morning (not as early these days as when we were milking a herd of cows) and late in the afternoons.  I don't recall that she ever told me to think about all the angles landscaping and flowers would be seen from and to consider that when planting, either.  But, it is something that I seem to consider when I am laying out what I want to grow and the plants I hope will return with a little nurturing.

I've heard her talk about how weeding is therapeutic for her because she can just imagine that each weed is something or somebody who frustrates her and she yanks them out for disposal.  (That is where the plastic bucket comes in.  Mama puts every weed, spent flower bloom, dead stem, etc. in that bucket and then dumps it into a hole or gully somewhere not just to level up the ground but usually in preparation for another flower bed in the future - no fancy commercially produced compost bin for her.)

Mama has always loved natural elements like rocks and found bits of glass or pottery and enjoys cultivating bulbs and perennials because that gives her something to look forward to and anticipate the beauty of each year.  She always wants to share and has supplied me with plants for several different flower beds time and time again.  She also has shared with friends and neighbors and there is no telling where-all her plants have wound up.  I think that is a family thing but the tale of the journey of the Aunt Mae lily is a story for another day.

Just last week when I was at Mama's getting her to help me with another chore that had nothing to do with beauty or blooms or flowers, she INSISTED that I dig up "a couple of these little shrubs and take them home."  My lazy-self protested because I had on my new flip-flops and my congested sinuses and infected ears were making me feel a little dizzy and I just was being plain lazy, I guess.  I even pointed out that I didn't have a clue where I would plant the shrubbery.  I was wasting my breath, however, and was pointed to a shovel and meticulously bossed, ahem...well supervised on how and where to dig up these little shrubs.  "It will be really easy and take hardly any time at all.  Here, do you want me to do it (...with my ailing back and hip that I go to therapy every other day of the week to try to relieve the excruciating pain and my replaced knee - no she didn't say this but I thought it...)?"  She even knew exactly where I needed to plant them and directed me to do so as soon as I got them home so they wouldn't dry up.  So, I had absolutely no choice and began digging with my cute, new flip-flops and my vertigo and congested, shortness of breath.

Then, I trekked home grumbling and cursing under my breath and put on my old gardening shoes and stomped to the barn and got my own shovel and dug holes in the thick, rock-hard-clay-where-nothing-but-Bermuda-grass-grows for the three little shrubs.  I called and asked my bonus son, Stephen, to bring home a couple bags of good soil to fill in the over-sized holes I had dug for these little shrubs.  It was right at closing time for their store and I could tell he didn't want to have to drop everything and load up a couple of bags of soil to bring home to worrisome old me.

In a while, though, here he came with the soil.  Just as I had gotten good and hot and was just short of gasping for breath and was reeling with dizziness and plopped on the steps of our back porch, he pulled up in a spray of gravel and shouted, "Where do you want this dirt, Devil Woman?"  (That is his pet name for me.  Should I be flattered to have a pet name?)  So, between gasps, I pointed toward the little shrubs lying beside the holes I had dug.

Unceremoniously, Stephen walked over and plopped the bags down right beside the holes and asked me where I had gotten such "nice little Princess Spireas."  I let him know in no-uncertain-terms that MY MOTHER had FORCED me to dig them up and bring them home and plant them - between gasps, of course.  First there was silence.  Dead silence.  Then, his response was, "Well, you are lucky.  That is what we have planted right around the store and those little things are expensive.  They have these little pink blooms on them all summer long.  Don't you like pink?  I think you will like them.  That was nice of her to give them to you and you didn't even have to buy them."

So, I wound up feeling like the lazy, ungrateful, ill-tempered child we all are at times.  

I hope I can remember this and not be that way again.  
(I wonder how many times I've thought that?) 

And, I hope I can remember this when my own children (and bonus children) are behaving that way so that it doesn't pique my ire.

I guess the Mother's Day Message really is that it doesn't matter what day of the calendar year it is, when we are mothers, we mother every single day.  All the time.  Even when we don't realize it.

We don't realize what we are learning from our own mothers.  

We don't realize that we are incidentally teaching our children.

We sometimes don't realize what our children are teaching us either.  

However, when we do realize it, we need to be more appreciative 
and we need to realize it 
and we need to recognize it far more often than we do.  

Thanks, Mama!

P.S.  As soon as the pretty little pink blooms come back out on the Princess Spirea, I will try to remember to take a photo and post it.  Right now they are suffering a bit from the shock of the move and a couple of inches of rain that we have been blessed with during the past couple of days.  I hope my thumbs are at least a little bit chartreuse or olive or even weed-green and can make these gifts thrive like my Mamas have!

This message was brought to you this morning by a deep, robust cup of coffee, wanderings through my fledgling-back-yard-flowers, and...

...thoughts of my Mama.

Some links to past Mother's Day posts are: