Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thoughts from a Mother in the Weeds

Mama, Mama, Mama

The dialogue of my day would go something like, "Mama!" and then "Mama!!!" and "Mama, look at this!" I think that would cover most of the day if you repeat it one hundred times. At the beach today, we marveled that we could hear the surf and the Moose calling, "Mama!"

Tonight the Moose asked my husband, "What is your favorite thing to do Dada?" He replied, "Spend time with munsters." The Moose liked that answer. He then asked me, "What is your favorite thing to do Mama?" I said, "Snuggle with munsters." This is true particularly because it is usually an indication that they are going to bed. Who can resist the warmth of child's cheek, especially when they wash with peach soap (they are trying to lure a peach fairy to visit them)?

I have been playing "Barbie" the past few days. The Mule and I have dressed Barbies for a party, a luau, and tonight, a ball. All of the clothes are kept at Lola Barbie's house so we have to go there to get dressed. I am only allowed to play with one Barbie- it is the Chinese barbie. We both have dark hair. I really wish I had not given away my Barbies' clothes when I was a teenager. My mother warned me I would be sorry. Well, I am dutifully sorry especially because Grandma Jennie who sewed many of those clothes never met the Mule, and she would have loved her.

To the Beach

The Moose can finally ride his bike to the beach and back with only a bit of whining at the end. The Mule collected a pile of sea shells in all of my favorite colors- she brings me the brown and purple ones and says, "Look Mama! It's your favorite color," with such delight. I wear a lot of brown which is why I think she thinks I like brown so much.

Pruning the Garden

I was possessed by the garden again. I hacked at the overgrowth around our car parking space. I created a small row along the fence to replant the sunflower seeds that have begun to sprout. There is little to no sun in our yard which is full of overgrown trees in need of trimming. Unfortunately, I can't climb the trees and whack at the canopies- too high. However, I haven't tried to do it from the second floor windows- I might be able to get something from there. I am not sure what my landlord or the neighbors will think, but all of this overgrowth feels as if it is choking me. I need the air, the light. I am hoping the row of sunflowers bloom and add some pizzaz to the parking space. I like seeing order restored to the garden patches I clear; I think that is what keeps me going back.

Hillbillies in Japan

My husband, looking out the windows at the hillsides today, commented, "We live in a holler honey." "Mm, yeah, we do!" I replied. We're from southeastern Ohio where folks live in hollers which means a valley. He thought another moment and added, "And we live by a crick!" Yes, we live by a creek. We could have a show, "Hillbillies in Japan." We could probably make someone laugh though my husband doesn't think the southeastern Ohio accent is as funny as his ever favorite "Pittsburghese." His brother sent a link to some radio show from Pittsburgh ( He and the kiddos are currently quoting, "I get my disahbillatey check and POW! Downn nah pannts anh att" a lot. They wanted to listen to it for their bedtime story tonight. Sigh. They are all possessed by sound, but not silence.


I thought I might wax poetically on motherhood in honor of the day, but I think that I am still too far in the weeds to have any real thoughts beyond daily survival. It strikes me that the moms who have the most to say have kids that are either grown up in which case I think the mothers are delusional since they can't possibly remember the weeds part anymore or they have kids that are easy- quiet and dutiful- which has nothing to do with mothering- it is genetic, just how the kid is made.

My kids are young, distractible, and talkative- it's genetic too, but impacting it, well, that is a problem. The main refrain at our house is, "Stay on Target. Stay on Target," a movie quote from Star Wars. It is about as useful as holding your breathe. I do that too. Happy Mother's Day to all of those who have nurtured a soul or two or more along the way especially to those who have had to dig deep to keep their balance and their sense of humor. I humbly receive the lessons of these little zen masters who show me daily the importance of playing not cleanliness; of humor not facts; and the importance of sound not silence in the life of a child.


  1. You aren't the first person to call me delusional and I'm sure you won't be the last:-)

    It is refreshing and heartening to hear the perspective of a mother who takes her responsibilities seriously.

  2. Nah, you don't gloss over it all like it was a piece of cake! You give tale for tale- you probably have more fun with it, motherhood that is. I can't decide if I lost my sense of humor or if never had one.


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