Mom

I was thinking the other day how my parents spent so many years of my life knowing everything about me – what I eat, when I sleep, what I do in my spare time.  They knew what book I was reading, what shows I watched, and what mundane details filled my days.

It seems strange that now, living hundreds of miles apart, for many years, that my parents don’t know many of those mundane details.

So, for this Mother’s Day, am going to give Mom the rundown!

A day in the life of Ladybug

4:45 a.m. – alarm; let the dogs out into the backyard for potty; yawn a lot; rub eyes; churn a cup of coffee out of the Keurig

5:00 a.m. – set out food for the free-roaming cat that was abandoned in our neighborhood, and any of her pals

5:15 a.m. – give Cabo a snack, and head out the door with Max for a quick morning wog (walk-jog) – still can’t walk both of them at the same time, and the routine with Max is engraved in stone

5:35 a.m. – stretch old lady limbs/jump on the exercise bike for a few minutes while watching the channel 12 news (local NBC affiliate)

5:45 a.m. – shower; daydream about winning the lottery and staying home to write novels

6:10 a.m. – feed the dogs: adding their various supplements, coconut oil and grated cheese to their food (takes more time to feed them in the a.m. than me) and then steam some peas for their treat toys

6:20 – 7:00 a.m. – get ready for work while dogs play with their treat toys, refilling with peas as demanded by Max

7:05 a.m. (if I’m on schedule; mostly I am not) – head out for the morning commute to work.  Throw bird seed out for the birds that have adopted me and make Steve crazy

7:30 a.m. (usually more like 7:35, oh well) –  check the Lost Dogs Arizona emails for anything that needs to be addressed, get more coffee, eat a breakfast bar or toast, chain myself to my desk

8:00 a.m. – actually start working

11:30 a.m. – lunch; spent either working on personal items on the computer or lunching with the ladies from the office

12:30 p.m. – wish for a nap, instead chain myself to the desk again

4:30ish – break the chain, race for the car, call Steve to announce freedom and head home

5:00ish – arrive home, squeeze dogs, then Steve

5:15 – 6:30 – change clothes, water plants, have dinner, feed the cat, check Lost Dogs Arizona emails, wish for a clone of myself, or at least a housekeeper and a butler

6:30 – 7 p.m. – take dogs to the park with Steve; or, during intense heat, for a car ride

7 p.m. – 9 p.m. – depending on the night, brush dogs, get on the exercise bike, read a book/magazine, watch a show (the Voice, Amazing Race, Hart of Dixie, Modern Family, Glee, Hawaii Five-0, Elementary or Arrow), or pass out from exhaustion

9:30 – if not already in bed, berate myself for not getting to bed earlier, brush teeth, squeeze dogs and Steve good night, read a few more lines of a book I can’t put down, squeeze the dogs one last time

It’s not terribly glamorous, but I’m grateful for all of it, and most importantly, it makes me grateful for all that my mom did for me while I was living at home.  I know it wasn’t easy or exciting for her on daily basis, but she did it with love, and now, so do I.

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Mom.

My mother and I didn’t always get along, and we still have a spat now and then.  But the thing that makes a mother is not a blood connection, it’s a simple devotion to someone else’s well-being that surpasses their devotion to their own.  And despite our differences, my mother has always had an unflagging loyalty to me for which I am deeply grateful. 

Putting up with me in Colombia

 
When I was a little girl and my father married my mom, I did not have any concept of all the hard work the young bride from a faraway country had taken on without question.  Feeding me, clothing me, bonding with me…basics that are taken for granted because of their fundamental qualities, but basics that require hard work nonetheless. Add to that love, worry, protectiveness, and stress, and you’ve got a sunup to sundown obsession. Even as I grew up and became more aware, I still did not contemplate all that my mother felt and did for me.

Me, Mom and my Abuelita

Nowadays, even though I am not a mother to any two-legged children, I do have two furry ones that I couldn’t love more if they were human.  There really isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for them.  I gladly share anything I have with them that won’t harm them, and the love and concern I feel for them borders on the obsessive.  I finally have an inkling of what my mother has provided, felt, and for the most part, has not been properly thanked for.

Things like letting me stay in San Diego that first summer after my freshman year, instead of making me come home until fall. It can’t have been easy, I know that now…letting your own child move out of the dorm and into a house with three girls, get a summer job, and not come home, when that is what you dearly want most.  My wonderful parents instead bought me some furniture, drove it down in a van and moved me in with my new friends.  My mother had stipulations, of course – like getting a job and taking summer classes.  But even her sometimes tough requirements of me, balanced with her trust, were a gift.  They made me a better person, truly.  And for that I cannot thank her, or my father, enough!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!!!