Mother’s Day Hotline 2019

Good morning and thank you for calling the Mother’s Day Hotline.

Please listen carefully, as our menu has definitely changed.

If you are considering parenthood, you’d better press 1.

If you think that five kids are the perfect number of offspring, press 2.

If you are currently surrounded with toddlers, please press 3.

If you wore actual pajamas and a burp cloth in public yesterday, press 4.

If the words “this is your last warning!” was issued three warnings ago, please press 5.

If you think you are still cool enough to do the same activities as your middle school kid, please press 6.

If you now communicate with your offspring through text, please dial push click tap press 7.

If you no longer recognize your child beneath the teenager disguise, please press 8.

If you have been wondering about your own mother lately, better press 9.

If you, yourself, are a now Grandmothering, please press pound.

If you are parenting fur-babies, please press star.

If you are a MOTHER. If you are a LIFER. If you OWN this. Press here.

Thank you for calling the Mothers Day Hotline. Enjoy your toast and tea. See you again soon.

The Mothers Day Hotline 2017

Good morning, and thank you for calling the Mother’s Day Hotline.

If you are waiting in bed for a tray of burnt toast, spilt juice, and a macaroni necklace, enjoy the following selections at leisure. Otherwise, please choose carefully.

If you are currently considering becoming a mother, please press 1.

If you are pregnant and searching for baby names, please press 2.

If you are wondering what it’s like to give birth, please press 3.

If you have a newborn and and need direction on what type of mommy to be, please press 4.

If you are currently surrounded with toddlers, please press 5.

If you are mothering elementary school age children, please press 6.

If you have children in the middle school zone, please press 7.

If your teens have made a strike towards independence, please press 8.

If you are desperate for a “mom break” by now, please press 9.

If you are considering leaving them all behind and rejoining the work force, please press pound.

If your children are grown and flown from the nest, and you want to sob hysterically because it all went too fast, please press the star key.

Thank you for calling the Mothers Day Hotline. Enjoy your toast and tea. See you again next week.

Mother’s Day From the Other Side

So it was Mothers Day, and since Jolie is a Mother she’s biased and isn’t allowed to write about it.

Instead, it’s me, Daughter #2, and while I don’t do Mothers Day the Hallmark way, I think we – the kids – did pretty good this year.

For starters, all five of us are still alive and haven’t committed any major felonies.

You know, as soon as some person commits some terrible crime or arson or fraud, everybody isn’t interested it where the person went wrong. Oh no, everybody wants to know WHO their mother is?! And how could she have been such an incompetent mother that their lovely little angel turned out so wrong?! So really, we’ve already given her the gift of another year without any major public scrutiny. No promises for next year but we’re doing our best for you, ma!

On actual mother’s Day, we don’t do the breakfast in bed thing anymore. For starters, I have no memory of my mother ever consuming breakfast…or being in bed. In fact I do not think I have ever seen her eat. She consumes tea from 7am to 6pm and sometimes has a glass of wine for dinner when she needs a good night of sleep…which is probably the only time I have ever seen her sleep.

Cards are also out. If you’re reading her blog then you probably already know she has more sarcasm than sentiment in her. I guess having five super weird kids has that affect on people. Also, I’ve read quite a few of those Hallmark mothers Day cards and frankly I think that they’re about as heartwarming as mailing her an inspirational cat poster. Home-made cards are only cute when you’re nine and under. Poor lady already has about 300 pieces of craft paper with your little handprint on them. She loves all 300 but I don’t think she wants another one.

Mom, if I’m wrong, and you do want another one, you just let me know. All of us still have two hands and loads of paint, we will wallpaper the house in handprints, you just say the word. But since we tried that a couple of times when we were little and you weren’t too happy about it, we held off this year.

Instead we went to church in the morning and, what are the odds, we happened to be reading the story from the Bible about the evil Herodia and how her daughter tricked Herod into cutting off John’s head so she could bring it to her mother on a platter. And me and Daughter #1 are sitting there in church thinking…. dang, how do you top that for Mothers Day? Wasn’t cool to raise the bar like that right in the middle of Mothers Day.

So, after church I go to Albertsons to get some flowers for my mom. I do this, not so much because she really wanted some flowers, but more because I really love Albertsons, especially on obscure holidays, like Easter or Valentines Day or Mother’s Day. On these days, if you go in around noon, you find about a hundred middle-aged men, frantically trying to buy presents for women.

Last-minute panic shopping is one of the greatest spectator sports. Black Friday, for example, is a good one. But on Mothers Day, you go into Albertsons and there’s frantic men scrambling all over the bakery and the candy shelves and the flower section. They circle the bouquet stand again and again and again, trying to figure out what kind of flowers are “mother flowers”.

And they all have the same look on their faces that’s a combination of determination and the look on the face of a drowning man. And that makes sense, because how do you pick out the thing that says “Happy Mother’s Day”?

Really, how do you find something to convey to your mother how much you really love and respect her? How do you let her know you appreciate all the sacrifices she made that you didn’t appreciate all those years? The bedtime stories. The hard lessons that made you both cry all night. The thousands of elementary school mediocre awards ceremonies that she clapped for. The talents that she encouraged that you didn’t realize for years, that you got from her.

The truth is, you’ll never be able to tell or show her how much you appreciate her, but if she’s your mother, she knows.

Maternal Opus

Mothers are the stuff of legend.

They teach you to reach for the stars, but they reside in your heart.

Since she’s in there already, all you had to do was whisper ‘love you, mom’ this weekend.

Yeah, she heard you.

On Sunday, I received a necklace with a charm that is recycled from an antique typewriter. It’s the letter “J” on a slightly concave black key.

It delights me.

It represents all the words that I’ve ever written, and particularly every time I’ve signed my name to them. It’s something, to know a unique combination of the alphabet can be claimed.

Like naming a star. Humble in the grand scheme of things yet totally feasible.

I have been a writer all my life.

I wrote plays complete with staging directions in elementary school. I enthusiastically took a typing class in middle school, where I regularly won prizes for both reading and writing.

My family moved just as high school began and I spent a year writing long and witty letters to my friends left behind while trying to find new ones in a new town. When I found them, I wrote them some of my favorite things.

One of them was a short murder mystery ‘novella’ that included each one of them as a character. Once you have met my friends, you will understand that each of my characters was not only rich in exaggeration but full of self-truths about each and involved situations that they would have loved to have acted out in reality.

I let them choose certain plot twists as I wrote, a bit like ‘Mad Libs’ on a larger scale.

The ‘book’ was quite popular for its little moment of fame.

It’s probably sitting around here somewhere in a box.

I was the copy writer for our senior yearbook, excellent interviews and bad poetry included.

The summer after graduation I enrolled in the local community college, where I had written and won a small scholarship.

My boyfriend bought me a shiny new Brother typewriter with all the bells and whistles for my birthday. He really knew how to get to this girl’s heart.

And also wanted her to type up all of his college English papers.

The man was both romantic and clever. How could I not marry him?

Years went by surrounded with kids and chaos, yet my laptop and I managed at some point to re-write an entire PTA music program and write and win a grant to fund it.

Thank you, kids, for inspiring me to keep writing.

All mothers are storytellers.

The passers-on of family lore and namers-of-stars.

You, by far, are her brightest.