If you can't say something nice, at least make it funny!

Thanks for visiting Tinfoil Magnolia, a blog about my life, times, marriage, friendships and all the strange things that happen to me and with me. I hope you find something here that will encourage you, inspire you or at the least entertain you. And if it doesn't today, check back tomorrow because, my life? honestly...

Sunday, May 13

The Mothers Day Paradox

Mothers Day is a tough one for me.

My mom is one of those "oh, I don't need anything" type of moms, even now that her children are grown. If I try to take her shopping she won't buy anything because, according to her, everything is "too expensive". She thinks getting a pedicure is extravagant, and she won't let me cook for her. I'm at a loss.

I spent part of the day out and about in Nashville yesterday and everywhere there were reminders of the fact that Mothers Day was upon us. I saw mothers and daughters shopping, headed to the movies or getting pedicures together. I saw pictures on Facebook of friends who took their moms on trips or had fun outings.

It all just makes me a little sad. None of these outings are anything we would do together. But they are all things I like to do. My mother and I have our issues, I guess most mothers and daughters do. I am not who she wants me to be, on anything. Right down to my career choice, religious choice, how I dress, and what I do in my free time.

She has flat out told me in no uncertain terms that she is disappointed that I didn't take the path she had planned for me. School teacher, live next door, teach Sunday school, have children, give her grandkids. Nope, I haven't accomplished any of those things. Rather, I have with intention pursued the life I wanted. No kids, an artistic job, and living in a nice home with the man I love where Sundays are just another weekend day.

I fail to comprehend why she should be disappointed that I didn't choose her life when I've had a totally successful life all my own. She tells me I don't have kids so I can't understand. But you know... honestly? Isn't the job of a parent to raise their children up to make the right choices in life? To end up stable, happy and able to provide for themselves? Isn't it as simple as that? Isn't it more to see them and be proud of them for being successful rather than making every choice for them? Doesn't my stable, normal, happily married life make her happy?

I wish I could take her out for a girls day. I wish she would come over and have coffee or a glass of wine with me sometimes. I wish we could go see a movie like The Help or Blind Side together. I wish we could shop together or travel somewhere for the weekend. But she doesn't drink coffee, or wine. Or soft drinks even. She doesn't like going to the movies, she gets bored shopping anywhere but yard sales, and she doesn't go much of anywhere without my dad.

But I love her, I respect her and I am so proud of her. I couldn't have had a better mother. She made my childhood so much fun, and kept me on the straight and narrow during my teen years. My mother is the strongest woman I know. She doesn't have a college degree, but she knows so much about so many things. And she's been married to my dad for almost 60 years, which is an accomplishment in itself.

I wish her life could have been easier. I wish she could have had the daughter she wanted. But I'm glad it isn't me because I would die trying to live that life.

Somewhere out there is my birth mother. The one who gave me up almost 45 years ago. I've never felt the need to meet her or know her but many times I wonder what she'd think of my life, of how I turned out. Would she be disappointed that I haven't accomplished more? Would she think that my life should be different? Or would it make sense to her, the way I live? A strong, intelligent, creative woman who lives in a small southern town with a loving husband. And struggles with her weight. But that's for another day....

Happy Mothers Day Y'all!


  1. Following your own path with creativity and compassion is the bravest thing a person can do in this world-- and raising a child to be able to that is the highest achievement of a parent.

    And as Barbara Cook says to her students, 

'You are enough. You are always enough. You don't ever have to pretend to be anything other than what you are.'

    Stephen Colbert asked Maurice Sendak what parents should do for their children. Maurice said, 'Take them for who they are.'

    Sounds exactly right to me.

    much love to you,

    We are very much looking forward to living just down the highway from you and Mitch in the very near future! xo

  2. Mary, I didn't realize who wrote this until the very end. I should have guessed it was you with such healing words. And you know what, I totally agree, and I realize that. It was long since worked out in therapy. It just saddens me that my mother can't or won't realize how wonderful she is. She lies awake every night worrying about me rather than accepting that she was successful at being a mom. It breaks my heart.

    Thanks for the wonderful comment. I am looking forward to it as well. Good times we shall have!