I’ll admit it. I’ve practiced my Academy Awards acceptance speech. The problem is that I’m not an actress. I have no aspirations to be an actress, but I think it would be amazing if regular Joes or Janes would receive public recognition for their own accomplishments, no matter how ordinary they are:
“And the Academy Award for Best Husband Response to the Question, ‘What Do You Think Of My New Haircut?’ goes to…” (I know there are some contenders out there.)
Besides those benefit dinners that everyone except me seems to get invited to recognizing a “Volunteer of the Year” or “Humanitiarian of the Decade,” there isn’t a lot for a stay-at-home mom to aspire to in the “Awards and Recognition” department. It’s been five years and I’m still waiting for a cost of living adjustment to my salary. So I’ll take Mother’s Day as my “I-Am-Finally-Winning-Something” Day. Consider it my yearly bonus. Let the party planning begin!
Since I’m a shoo-in (I think my only other competition in the house is the spider hanging out in the corner of our stairwell whose babies hatched last week – she promptly ate half of them), I think I should have my acceptance speech ready. So, I’m going to put on my best pair of black yoga pants and favorite hoodie and thank away. (pic of my party shoes.)
Any success I have as a mom, most notably not dying of embarrassment or imploding from frustration, is owed to many people – but mostly I’d like to thank some kick-ass moms who get me through my days:
-My mom. Duh. There isn’t enough time in the world to list all of the ways she is amazing. That’s a whole other post.
-My mother-in-law. Your son’s ability to love me reminds me how important it is for me to teach my sons to show and express love. Thank you for giving him that ability. It is such a gift to me and our sons.
-My sister for being brave and smart enough to leave a broken marriage and setting an example for your kids (and mine) that sacrificing your own happiness for the perceived happiness of someone else is never a good idea.
-My sister-in-law for putting up with my countless phone calls every week. And, your child sleeps less than mine so I always take comfort on my sleep-deprived days knowing you have it worse than I do.
-My friend whose husband left her last year when she was seven months pregnant with their third child and is now facing a life she never saw coming with amazing strength and courage. You leave me speechless.
-A mom I know who is working a full-time job, volunteers at all three of her kids’ schools, sits on the board of several nonprofits and runs marathons. You give me hope that one day I will be able to do more – or I should at least reconsider my decision to not drink coffee.
-A friend whose husband has terminal cancer and is grieving the “last time” every day while still raising two beautiful, active, inquisitive boys with more thoughtfulness than I can ever conjure up. If you can do that, I can manage to get my preschool registration forms in on time.
-My next door neighbor growing up who raised five boys and a girl without any of them going to jail. You give me permission to let my boys be boys and my house be filthy dirty.
-My friend who has one child and doesn’t volunteer for anything and doesn’t have aspirations of going back to work because you feel best when you are only focused on your son. You give me permission to say “no” and not get sucked into things out of obligation. You inspire me to be more focused and present when I’m with my kids.
-My friend who makes the time to exercise almost every day, even with three kids, and is healthier than ever before. You remind me that my health and getting exercise must be a priority. I’m a much better mom when I take an hour to make my muscles, heart and lungs work hard.
-The mom who I don’t know but was sitting at a table next to me at a restaurant and brought over a pile of napkins after my four year-old hurled his milk at my two year-old’s face for no particular reason, soaking me, my two year-old, and the entire table. I was stunned, horrified and embarrassed. You simply saying, “I have two boys,” probably saved me from starting a full-fledged food fight with my four year-old. Thank you for the gentle reminder that many, many people have walked in my milk-drenched shoes and I, too, shall survive – and so will my kids.
-The many friends and neighbors who have offered to babysit, drop off food, run errands or pick up my kids when they know the other parts of my life have become more demanding than my kids. I cannot do this mommy thing alone and you make it easy to ask for and accept help.
My boys wouldn’t be the spunky, funny, and loving little beings that they are if not for these and many other people because, if I had to do this alone, I would have dropped my kids off at a fire station months ago and headed for a Caribbean island. Yes, I am their primary caregiver and I will happily take my one day of recognition but I am filled with deep gratitude, too. Thank you moms, and Happy Mother’s/I-Am-Finally-Winning-Something Day.