Happy Mother's Day!

Jason and I love our Mamas and each other's Mamas. They are both the coolest ladies! We realize how fortunate we are to have Mothers that we also happen to actually like and whom we hope actually like us. If we didn't both Love and Like our Mamas, would we have gotten these?

I don't think so. You know I really don't remember my childhood all that well, but I have this feeling like little Tracy was probably a selfish little ungrateful brat who didn't even realize she was being a selfish little ungrateful brat. Kind of like this kid:

It's funny how long it takes us, or, at least how long it took me, to realize that my Mother is an actual human being and not just some machine programmed to take care of me, to feed me and clothe me and generally make my life easier and better. Like the little kid in the video, I had no concept of the fact that I could hurt or annoy or exhaust my Mom. From my perspective it was more just like ME WANT FOOD. The fact that it took me so long to finally put this all together (Mom = human being?!!!) serves as a great testament to my Mother's selflessness and to my own extreme selfishness. Growing up, it never occurred to me that my Mother might get tired or might not feel like cooking the 1, 332, 688th meal for our family or washing all of our underwear over and over and over or the bajillion other things she did for us.... Cause the thing is she just kept doing all those things day in and day out without ever complaining about any of it. It wasn't until I finally had to start doing all those things for myself and now for Jason, too, that I started to notice, hey, sometimes these things are a pain to have to do, hmmm... I bet my Mom sure did get tired of doing all these things for four people for years and years and years. Ding, ding, ding! And a lightbulb lights up the scene! I mean, how do Moms do all that stuff for all those years and in the case of my Mother at least, not even complain about it? How did you do that, Mom? I used to like to think that parents secretly get granted super powers on the day they become parents and that it's just kept very hush-hush because they don't want everybody rushing to have kids to get the super powers. But all the crappy parents out there sort of ruined that one for me. I guess maybe Love is the closest we can ever get to super powers. That's cool with me.

Dear Mother, I am sorry for reducing you all those years to my maid, my cook, my chauffeur, etc. without ever recognizing your wholeness. I'm hoping to have a brighter child who will catch on to that fact a little sooner and cut me some freakin' slack, but it will only serve me right if that doesn't happen. Sometimes I like to think about the little one or ones Jason and I will hopefully have someday who will undoubtedly take us just as much for granted. And when I think about this little ungrateful kid selfishly demanding things from us, I like to picture you and Pops and Jay and Barbra all sitting around us, watching with smiles in the satisfaction of things come full circle and thinking, "It's your turn now, suckas!" And while in my own slow way I am coming to understand and appreciate the hard work that is involved in being a Mother, I am also getting glimpses of the Joy in taking care of loved ones, of the Gift that Motherhood must be. When I think of my time as a nanny and all the Joy it brought me to take care of litle Eli and little Abe, to witness their daily struggles and triumphs and general adorableness...I am blown away by thoughts of what Motherhood must be like. All of this is to say, you have accepted the pleasures and pains of Motherhood with such Grace. For that and for all the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches made and underwear washed and dishes cleaned, I could go on and on and on, I Thank You. I Love You. You are a Good Mom.

I agree with everything that Tracy said. I too have taken my mother (both my parents actually) for granted for the majority of my life. It hasn't really been until the last few years that I have really been able to think of my parents as actual people. As I get closer to the age they were when they had me I've started to realize how big of a life adjustment it really must have been to all of a sudden have this new, helpless little person to be responsible for. It's nothing that you can really prepare yourself for, but when I was younger I thought that I would reach a certain age and I would have children and it would all just happen naturally. I didn't realize that before parents are parents, they're people just like everyone else. They don't have it all figured out. They don't always know the answers to the questions in their own lives, so why should they be expected to have the answers for someone else's? As a child I was frustrated by my parents' limitations. I thought that if they had the power to bring me into the world, they should also be able to make sense of it for me. Now I realize, however, that their limitations are what make them so special. The fact that they are ordinary, limited people who did such an extraordinary thing in raising me with such love and patience is what really makes them wonderful people. What I'm trying to say, without sounding too conceited, is that I feel lucky to have such great parents who raised me and made me into a person I'm happy to be. Not everyone can say that. Also, I know it's mother's day and I've been talking about both of my parents. That's because they're such a good team, that I find it hard to attribute anything about my upbringing to one without giving credit to the other. It would be easier if there were a parents' day. That being said, mom, I love you! I wouldn't be the man I am today without you, and I fully realize that and appreciate it. I feel lucky beyond description to be your son! Love, Jason

Barbra and Jason, Christmas 2007

My Mama and Me, Wedding Day 2009
photo by Emily Chastain

P.S. Don't worry; those are not real tattoos. We figure Chrissy has enough for all of us.


Ruth said...

Phew! I really thought you and Jason ruined your beautiful arms with tattoos. thank god.

I remember the day I realized my mom was a person. I was a teenager, and I don't remember what triggered it.

And I'm like you, recognizing my mother's stellarness every day when I grumble about this or that mess around the house or unloading the dishwasher for the bazillionth time, something she did without complaining.

Oh man, I can't WAIT to see your babies and you two as parents.

Dennis and Cindy said...

Skyped with Chrissy and she asked if I'd seen your blog about your tattoos! So I was relieved and thankful to know they are not real!

Isn't that weird how we don't see our parents as regular people until we get older?! My mom died when I was 24, so I don't think I really got to know her as a woman.

Can't wait to see your child throw a temper tantrum in a store! :)

Janet's Journey said...

Beautiful and thoughtful blog. Though you are not my daughter, you are in my heart.