Dec. 31, 2013 – Happy New Year’s Eve – St. Matthew’s – Norwalk

Liz let me know she was reading at St. Matthew’s 4pm Mass…..Of course I had to go! Last time I went to St. Matthew’s with her, she did the homily…it was awesome! But…tonight, she is just reading.

Tomorrow is the Holy Day…The Solemnity of Mary – all about Mary the mother of Jesus! How is that for pressure…I find it hard enough to be the mother of Steph, Melissa, Kevin, and Vincent on most days!  They all have big dreams of their own, but none that would involve taking on all of our sins and opening the gates of the Kingdom of God for EVERYONE!!

Of course, during the mass, I couldn’t help thinking how she would have done if she had to compete with cell phones, iPhones, IPads, iTouches, 100 channels of smut on the TV, anti-bullying laws, cyberbullying, Facebook profiles and photos, Instagrams, and Snapchats……not to mention laws about driving with friends, the legalization of marijuana, and a drinking age of 21! UGH! There is a lot for us to pray for through her!

During Mass, I also thought about the little piece of writing I did a while ago entitled:  Motherhood.

Motherhood.

The word conjures up the beautiful thoughts of snuggling while watching a Disney movie, sharing an ice cream sundae after a straight A report card, and soft kisses accompanied with “I love you” at the end of a wonderful, perfect school day. The scene continues: A woman and child frolicking in the park, walking along the beach picking up the perfect sea glass to fill a lamp base, or sliding down a snow covered hill laughing as the sled comes to a gentle stop. Captured moments: A First Communion photo complete with the perfectly white dress and crown, a snapshot of the family in front of the Christmas tree, a front page picture in the local paper outside of the school on the first day of Kindergarten. Yes, Motherhood. Or could the adult in each scene could be just another woman. Perhaps, a godmother, a neighbor, a caring babysitter. Or maybe it is the woman called Mother. I don’t know.

What I do know though, is true motherhood is not always found in the gentle moments that glide us from day to day. Often they are the ones that jolt us into reality and keep us up all night. They are the ones that make those romanticized moments seem like someone else’s life. They are the fantasies that shatter like a wine glass on a tiled kitchen floor. They are the ones that simply piss us off and leave us wondering, “Why do I love this kid?”

The moments that define you as a mother are not the easy ones that anyone can do. They are the tough ones that leave you with shaky knees, clammy hands, and a pulsing heart rate. They are the challenging times that force you to hold your tongue while you think…..I love this kid, I love this kid, I love this kid. They are the ridiculous statements that leave you shaking your head wondering if you will advise your children to never have children. These moments I have collected are some of the moments that have forced me to think about “WHAT REALLY MAKES A MOTHER”.

There is the letter from college saying “Congratulations! Your daughter has completed her Drug and Alcohol RE-Training course and has finished her commitment of 5 hours of counseling” only to be followed by the letter from the car insurance company saying “Dear Melissa,  due to your 2 tickets within 4 months, you must complete the CT Re-Training course in order to be insured.”

 

Or the statement,   “Mom, I think I need to go on the pill so my period is more regular” and the phone call, “Your son will be serving an In-School Suspension for fighting.”

There is the moment that you find 5 lighters in a kid’s bedroom, yet “Nope, I don’t smoke anything!” is the response when you hold them out to your kid. Really?

And then there is the summons stating the Court Date for Larceny, only enhanced by the “Norwalk Police Blotter” announcement. That is the moment when you realize that when your kid is on the front page you call your friends to save extra copies to send to Grandma, but today you decide not to do that!

Then there is the phone call, “Mom….I don’t think this college thing is for me and I think we both know it!” . And, of course the call that that leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy,  “Mom, Good news..I got a job at a smoke shop in Willimantic where they sell loose tobacco, bongs, pipes, and rolling papers. The better news is I get a 20% Employee Discount!”

Ah, there are so many proud moments to say, “Yes, I am the mother”.

This list has left me thinking about my future and how it relates to what the world really needs. I think I should make some “real Mothers’ Day cards for Hallmark!”

Funny how the High honors and awards and college graduation photos aren’t coming to my mind……

Ah, the Solemnity of Mary…..May she be a role model for us all!!

At6:00 pm  – I had to go to  St. Paul’s on the Green for the Burning Bowl Ceremony. I LOVE it and have gone every year for the past 5 years.   There is a beautiful prayer they say each year….I should hang it on my wall and read it everyday!!

 

A New Year’s Prayer

Gracious God, please give me

A few friends who understand me and remain my friends;

A work to do which has real value,

Without which the world would be poorer;

A mind unafraid to travel, even though the trail be not blazed;

An understanding heart;

A sense of humor;

Time for quiet, silent meditation;

A feeling of the presence of God;

The patience to wait for the coming of these things,

And the wisdom to recognize them when they come.

Amen.

After this beautiful prayer, there is time to reflect. This service is the last 20 minutes of the year that I can sit in silence, write down everything that burdened me, aggravated me, frustrated me, worried me, etc. then go put it in a fire pit. In theory, I am making room in my heart in order to let the goodness of the next year come flowing into my life! Not sure if it really works, but I do feel a bit lighter each time I do it……at least until I start worrying again about where the kids are going for New Years, get aggravated because no  one will pin down their plans, frustrated because the kids need to wait until their friends figure things out  their own plans before my kids can figure out their plans and then tell me, then feel burdened with the guilt trip I laid on them before they left the house to go celebrate the New Year!  Ah, like I said, May Mary be a role model for us all!!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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