Picking up the boys from school yesterday was different than usual. I watched lovingly as my little weeds emerged from school with backpacks on and friends abreast. They ran up to me smiling and giving me hugs. Excitedly they shoved their homemade birthday cards into my face. I told them to wait for Baddy and give them to me on my birthday or Mother’s Day, which unfortunately arrive back to back, but they were bubbling over with enthusiasm and couldn’t wait so I accepted their toiled over cards and hand-made beaded jewelry, my heart full with love.
I guess they are trainable after all. They made their cards last night when I was at the school preparing for my outdoor ed trip to Canyonlands with Brevitt and his buddies. Three days roughing it in the desert with three boys and three parents. The show “Survivor” comes to mind when I think of myself pumping and filtering our drinking water collected from a hole in a rock.
Before picking them up from school I treated myself to yoga and then a haircut. Looking like a friendly witch from the North with foil in my hair, I played with her one year old, Remington, a preciously sweet delicate flower of a little girl with clean clothes, a fuzzy head of hair and delicious smelling skin, reflecting her mother’s doting love. In the middle of drinking her mother’s milk, Remi would pop off the nipple and back bend to smile at me with her arms splayed out behind her, reminding me of my three babies who were all huge and total characters.
I left there reveling over the bond between a mother and her children and think of my children, on a good day, with complete and unconditional love. When the love is returned I am filled to the brim with warmth and satisfaction.
My love for my mother is differently the same. I may at times be the most difficult, obstinate daughter in the world with high expectations of her but my love for her is endless. Memories of her singsong British voice fill me with happiness and security. She is hopeless on the computer and her phone skills are not much better but her advice and insight is invaluable. Every accomplishment that I have ever made in my life has been encouraged, guided and celebrated by her. Before I call her I know that the chances of actually getting to her and keeping her on the line are slim. I will hear her answer the phone and then the fumbling will take place, “Hello…hello?…Jillian?….” and ends with “Oh Bugga, I lost her”, with me all the while on the other line saying, “Don’t hang up, I’m here, I’m here.” On the times that I do reach her, she is usually having tea with somebody important, or being guided on a private tour through the Metropolitan Museum or some other cultural institution.
My mother is the most loving, tolerant, generous person I have ever met. When she does not have her nose in a book or in the newspaper she is flitting about to museums and Classical concerts. She is the most informative person in the world and I cannot make a cultural decision without her input.
It was always a dream of my sister’s and I to build an English style cottage for her on one of our properties. She would have her independence but the children could be a part of her everyday life bringing her fresh eggs with toast and marmalade for breakfast and helping her in the garden.
Spring in Massachusetts is a far cry from spring in Aspen. Growing up I would open my eyes to flowers and a gift placed on my little night stand by my mother. I would spend the day playing in the warm sun in the cherry blossom trees, knowing that the day was all mine. In the evenings I would play SPUD outside with my sisters and we would enjoy the warm night air until our mother rang the dinner bell.
Back to reality, May in Aspen is not so majestic. As usual, the weatherman predicts 51 degree temps and high precipitation for this weekend. My children are cleaning the kitchen and allowing me to write for my birthday. They keep bringing me presents and placing them on top of my piles of papers on my desk. I am determined to have the weekend I deserve. The way I see it, having my special days in unison should allow me treatment fit for a queen. But as I sit here writing I can hear Tucker doing his morning routine of wailing for me and me alone to kiss him and help him to get out of bed. The children are arguing with daddy outside my office door interrupting my train of thought and no breakfast has been brought to me.
Life goes on as usual and I must lower my expectations. I suppose each year, with proper training, it may slowly sink in to my family that I deserve more. This year I will try to lovingly accept their minute tokens of affection while I passively take the time I need to feel special.
I would write more but it sounds as if I need to feed the animals in my zoo that I call home.
** PS – all that training has led to once again, getting double nothing! Oh well. I guess being loved is all that really matters (May 2018).