My sister and her family were scheduled to leave for England the day after Christmas. On Christmas night, they made the sickening discovery that one daughter’s passport had expired. A rushed trip to New Orleans was planned to obtain a renewed document, and then they would follow her husband and older daughter to the UK. Without going into the whole story, a few more “surprises” were in store for them, causing even more delays for them getting to England. My sister may as well have been Jesse James holding up the stagecoach, robbing her family of precious time to be spent abroad. Once again, as it seems to go for all of us moms, we seemed to bear the weight of the blame, as well as the weight of working something short of a miracle to make it all right again. My sister did everything right, and now she and my niece are in the air on their way across the pond to join the others and enjoy the rest of the trip together. I am hoping they spend the time enjoying remainder of the trip and each other’s company, and NOT rehash the mishaps that occurred on the front end of the journey. I’m afraid my sister will be wearing the “Tiara of Blame” on this one, even though to me it was no one’s fault. It was just something that happened, but mothers seem to be the designated target of the “neck-whipping” glare when these things raise their ugly heads in our lives!!
I responded to an email she sent this morning. I wanted to encourage her because I can’t help but feel like she may need to hear “You did a great job pulling it all together.” Apparently, Humpty Dumpty CAN be put together again!!!!!!!!!!! We mothers do it on a daily basis. The only thing is that the “glue factor” changes depending on the calamity! Sometimes, it is something a drop of Elmer’s School Glue (a kiss) can fix. Other times, it requires “Gorilla Glue” (get on the phone or ebay and track down that elusive “have to have” item for this project/event/occasion, or the Earth will implode, followed shortly by an explosion of the implosion. I have decided to include my reply to her email in this post as a bit of encouragment for ALL mothers. I think we wear the same shoes. Those universal shoes can carry you on a mission to deliver love and tenderness. And it’s funny, but those same shoes can deliver a Blue-Ribbon ass-kicking if someone messes with our babies!!! As rewarding as motherhood is everyday, it is one of the hardest jobs on the planet, no matter which continent you call home. As the title of this post says…Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. Let’s all raise a glass to one another for the phenomenal women that we are. In fact, why don’t we all raise a glass at the same time? How about 10:00 (Central Time Zone)? We are women…hear us ROAR!!!!!!
Here is the email:
I am assuming you guys are in the air on your way to the UK (shades of green are flashing before my eyes). All in all, the events leading up to this point have been a bump in the road. You may not know for a while (or ever), but I believe the delay was relevant. You all daily put your lives in God’s hands, and this is the way this scene has played out. You’ll just have to trust Him, even if you really feel you are due a 10-page report detailing the reasons for putting you, and more importantly as a mother, your child, through the past 3 days. But…it all happened on American soil and you had people who were able (and glad) to help you. You also had the golden opportunity to model for your daughter how to gracefully work through these kind of unforeseen glitches played out to a background score of “silent but angry husband” and “brooding child with dagger eyes”. That, my dear sister, is truly a life lesson, because it will happen to her one day (as it does for all humans), though the players and plot will all be different. The message is still the same…Shit happens. If you handle it well, you will remain fresh as a daisy receiving nods of approval as you pass by in the wake of the event. OR make one wrong move and you’ll be wearing the stuff, leaving a smelly stench wafting through the air as you move along, forcing those you encounter to cover their noses and turn from you and comment on how they would have done things much differently! I’m proud of you. You were a strong woman and used your problem solving resources to play the hand that was dealt to you – without tears and a tantrum. You are a winner. And… one day, your daughter will look into her daughter’s condemning eyes and wonder how she can fix it for her. She’ll remember this Christmas trip and ,as an adult, smile and whisper a prayer of thanks for a mother that taught her the steps to this particular dance. I love you. Have a great time!