Ever since I was a small child I knew my biggest goal in life was to be a mother. Being born in 1952, a child of the 60's and coming of age in the 1970's, I was the antithesis of the woman's lib movement. My mom was a stay at home mom and she was my role model. She was always there for us and I wanted to be just like her. At 17 years old I met Paul and we married two years later. While he was in dental school I worked in a bank and three years later our first son, Brent, was born. Paul had a year of school left and I was scheduled to return to work at the bank when the baby was 6 weeks old. When it came time to go to work I couldn't leave my child. There was no way I was going to leave my 6 week old, nursing baby with a sitter. Paul, being the amazing father and husband that he is and both of us being young and naive, found out a lot of the guys from school "borrowed" money from some guy on the south side of Chicago. When we told my parents about our decision my dad about crawled through the phone cords to strangle me. He said there was no way any child of his was going to go to a loan shark for money. My parents supported us the last year of dental school and we paid them back in full within five years of graduation. Thanks to my parents, I was a stay-at-home mom and loved every minute of it.
Mother's Day with 4 sons...when they were small, my biggest request was always that I would get a nap. It usually started out with breakfast in bed, sticky kisses and handmade cards and gifts. Paul and the boys always made sure that I felt special and they still do.
Now that the boys are grown, two with families of their own, they still try to organize a special day for me. We have never been ones to fight the crowds in a restaurant for Mother's Day brunch. We usually gather together at home for a meal prepared by the boys. It helps that not only is Evan a chef, but they are all accomplished cooks. This year I have heard talk of a special lunch planned and a boat ride is involved, so I will let you know what happens. I will only get to see two of the boys. Brent lives in another state and Evan, being a chef, has to work on Mother's Day. But I did get to see Evan last night and even got a decent photo of the two of us together at the restaurant. It seems if we want to see him we have to go to the restaurant. He works long days and nights.
Being a mom is still my greatest joy. I am one of those annoying people who love to brag about the accomplishments of their children to anyone who will listen. I have a close relationship with each of them and they still do special things throughout the year to make me feel loved and appreciated. It can be as simple as a text to say, " I love you mom and miss you", calling for advise or even asking for a recipe. These things always makes me feel important in their lives.
This has always been one of my favorite photos of me and "my boys". We were just heading to the airport after our first vacation in Maui, 1998. I don't know if I like it because we are all rested and relaxed and it is a memory of a wonderful vacation or if it is because I look skinny in it! Ha! Look at all that bleached hair and I don't mean mine! I need to get a more recent photo with us all together, as soon as we can.
I sometimes wish they were still like this, riding bikes in the street or playing kick the can on a hot summer night with all the kids in the neighborhood. But then I look at the men they have become and I just beam. Each one is an excellent husband (or boyfriend), father, employee and hard working adult. All are kind, talented and handsome, what more could I ask for?
To my mom, I say "thank you for being such a great role model".
To my husband, I say "Thank you for being such a great dad to our boys and helping me to be a stay-at-home mom.
To Brent, Michael, Evan and Kyle, I say, "No words can really convey how much I love you".To all the moms out there, I say, "Happy Mother's Day".