At times, we get so excited about the upcoming holidays that we forget the strain this puts on the mothers in our lives: We think of that delicious pie without realizing the shopping for ingredients, the prep time, and the anxiety about whether it will turn out to be tasty.
For the mother who has never cooked a turkey or a ham, made rolls, been responsible for buying and wrapping all the gifts under the tree, settling the children’s disputes- and at times trying to bring reconciliation among adults- holidays can be wearing.
But a mother puts on her lipstick, her smile and her big girl panties and does what needs to be done – at times with a crying baby in arms or a cute little toddler with his arms wrapped tightly about her legs.
Recently, my Edison State College class in American literature completed a unit on women’s voices in literature, and I took time out to get them to write their own versions of what American women in 2016 are feeling and thinking.
They, as usual, wrote stunning poems, and I want to share one of these to remind all in the family to be especially kind to mothers during this holiday season. It was written by Sam McCafferty of Botkins.
It’s a lie, of course.
Why should I burden everyone else with my problems?
They probably have enough to worry about as it is.
So they prove me right and
Complain about the smallest facets: “Lunch was bad. Homework was hard. Day was slow.”
I remain positive,
I ruminate on the ugliness of the day while I
All come to eat.
“Chicken again,” they complain.
I want them to be healthy, but still they whine.
I clean the dishes, tidy the kitchen- alone with my thoughts.
I sit down to watch TV, my three hours of rest.
“I don’t like this show.”
I turn the channel and stare blankly at the cartoons.
Nine o’clock. Time for bed.
It’s met with resistance, of course.
They need sleep for school. I know this; they don’t.
Finally, time to myself.
I head for bed.
As Sam reads his poem, composed in about 15 minutes, I see signs of recognition on the faces of my students, little half-smiles, and a little shame.
Themes of poems come to us in flashes as we acknowledge the human condition and our roles and responsibilities in that universe. Don’t wait until Mother’s Day to see the ways in which many mothers, maybe your own, bring comfort and joy to so many lives day after day.
Vivian Blevins is a consultant for the Training Solutions Group Inc. who teaches courses in writing and literature for major telecom company employees. Reach her at (937) 778-3815 or firstname.lastname@example.org.