Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

It’s a big day around here, it being our first mother’s day and all. It seemed like a good time to take stalk of what the experience has been like so far, and I have to admit, it’s a lot harder than I imagined. When I use to hear parents talk about how hard it was, I thought they were just whiners. I use to be a web developer, and this is much more difficult. I haven’t figured out how to debug my kid. I have never felt so incompetent in my life. When I was a programmer, I use to really like difficult problems. I was very resourceful. If I didn’t know the answer I would either talk to other programmers, google and find the answer or consult books.

I thought this tactic would work as a parent, but I have been continually presented with problems that there are no answers to. My little guy had colic for the first three months of his life. Despite Herculean efforts from his mom and me, when couldn’t get him to calm down. He really did just need to grow out if it.

In what I know realize was complete arrogance on my part, I just thought, my mom did it, how hard can it be. Apparently, my mom had skill sets that I hadn’t recognized. She died nearly 9 years ago from colon cancer, so mother’s day is bittersweet for me. She was a homemaker and had five children, and a tremendously unhelpful husband. I associated her life with drudgery, boredom and endless menial tasks. All I wanted to be when I was growing up was not like her. I had a career. I had a wife. I wasn’t her.

But now that I am a mom, I now see that my mother’s work was not menial. When she did laundry, cleaned the bathroom, and baked, she was making a home. There was dignity in her work that I hadn’t respected. I can only hope to be half as good as a homemaker as she was.

I was with a group of friends who were bemoaning the fact that they were turning into their mothers, and I was so surprised to find myself say that I was consciously trying to be more like her. I was trying to learn the crafts that she knew, like knitting and sewing, and I was trying to cook as well as she did. Her world was one of neighbors and children, and so is mine. I miss her dearly, and wish I could solicit her advice. I don’t think she could have cured my baby’s colic, but I am certain she would have been helpful. She is my hero.

So happy mother’s day to all of the mothers out there. Happy mothers day to all of the fathers too.

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