Sunday, May 8, 2011

An Ode to my Mother

M is for the many times I had to help you to bed after you passed out in the kitchen
O is for the other women in my life who have been more maternal to me than you ever were
T is for the thirteen schools I attended in 12 years
H is for the healthy dose of neurosis that I've worked through for the past 20 years
E is for each and every time I found an excuse to not bring a girl home
R is for relocation, which we did pretty much every time you decided you were bored or didn't feel like paying the rent

Put them all together, and you get "Female Genetic Donor". Happy Freaking Mother's Day.

OK, I'm a little bitter.  My mother didn't have 5 children because she loved kids.  She had 5 children because she never figured out how to properly use birth control.

The flip side of that is all of the wonderful women that have taken Irish Woman and me under their wings over the years.   Irish Woman's aunt brought her up along with her own brood, even after her own husband died.  Hoosier Mom took Robin in when she came over for a sleepover and never let her go.  Heck, we've even got a semi-adopted grandmother that came with an ex-wife and is closer to me now than my own mother ever was and loves our kids as if they were her own. 

And don't get me started about Irish Woman.  She was an older, established adult when me and my gaggle of hellions crashed her party.  She immediately took on the role of mom to the kids, and has been a much better partner in parenting with me than anyone else ever has.  My best compliment to her is that she is the same mother to Girlie Bear and Little Bear as she is to BooBoo.  One note:  she hates being called stepmother.  She prefers the term "Parental Consultant".

I guess my point is what I've said before:  genetics don't make family.  If you and your biological mother and grandmother are close, that's wonderful.  But the nurturing mother figure in a lot of lives is someone who falls into the role by circumstances, not biology. 

For you mothers, grandma's, mammaw's, aunts, stepmom's, parental consultants, semi-adopted moms, or whatever you call yourself when you provide a strong, nurturing, guiding hand to a child, bless you.  You do a job that's harder than anyone has a right to ask of you. 

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