By Leslie Hinderstein
For me, Mother’s Day has morphed into something different every year over the 21 years I have been a mother. Gone, sadly, are the crayon construction paper cards from my daughter and son, now 16 and 21, respectively. However, I have been saving each one since I received the first, so I can reread them each year. Call me sentimental, but these cards always make me smile.
I am not a late sleeper and am chief coffee brewer in my house, so that whole breakfast in bed thing on Mother’s Day is lost on me. I even have one of those folding bed trays used in commercials when kids are making their mom breakfast in bed, but I don’t even think my kids know where ours is stored!
I love to awaken early on that auspicious Sunday in May, leisurely read the paper and perhaps write in my journal. When it comes to receiving gifts, while I have gotten my share of gorgeous sparkly things, these days I am more likely to find cute, clever or silly gifts that my husband and daughter select together. Last year a trip to Sur La Table resulted in a bevy of kitchen gadgetry, including a multitude of mustard jars, carving knives and measuring utensils. As an unrepentant lover of Dijon, I was thoroughly pleased, believe it or not!
As I am a daily walker, some type of stroll is always on the schedule, weather permitting, either in our neighborhood or on the beautiful bridle paths at Rockefeller. When the kids were little, these outings would involve strollers, but now I am thrilled if my husband and I can entice our daughter to join us for some fresh air. I am not ashamed to admit that occasionally, bribery is employed!
I used to tell my kids that the only gift I really wanted on Mother’s Day was for them to be nice to me for 24 hours. What I would really like is for them to be nice to me all the time! Isn’t that what we all want from our kids at the end of any day, not just on Mother’s Day? After all, it’s not much to ask, and it’s free!
Several years ago I heard the poem below written in an exchange between sisters, but I also think they aptly describe the relationship between mothers and children perfectly. First words, first steps, first days of school, first loves and first major achievements fill the heart deliciously, just as that poor test grade, lousy coach, unfair teacher, mean friend, or plain ol’ big bad world weigh so heavily on that same heart.
While I may have special wishes for how my family and I observe that Sunday in May, being a mom really has nothing to do with Mother’s Day. It is that day-to-day, in and out, never-ending “on deck” feeling and the commitment to be there 24/7/365, middle of the night or school day. That Sunday is just meant to be the day we hope our tireless, selfless devotion gets a tiny bit of recognition in the smallest possible way.
Leslie Hinderstein is the extraordinarily proud mom to Joe and Maddie and also extremely proud to have embarked on this journey with her husband David of 24 years!
—————- & ——————-
I carry your heart with me (I carry it in My heart)
I am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done By only me is your doing, my darling)
No fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) I want No world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
And it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
And whatever a sun will always sing is you
Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)