By Stephanie Martin
Another Mother’s Day has come and gone. It is always an interesting day, as the years can change the meaning and the dynamics of the day’s events.
When your kids are little, typically it is a beautiful and busy day of homemade cards, some seriously questionable breakfast made by little people, and a lot of hugs. It was my experience that the breakfasts became much less questionable as the years passed by and now are quite outstanding!
Time, it seems now, is a much more valuable commodity with your kids as they get older. With three adult sons and a 13-year-old, it is a challenge for us to all hit the same room at the same time for more than an hour, and often Mother’s Day goes in shifts. This year was just as interesting as Dustin and his girlfriend Cass came through at 11:00 (when I had just woke up from playing a very late gig the night before) and I was heading out to pick up Max who was with his dad, and meet them in Tavistock. Luckily we were able to quickly rearrange the morning and have them make the trip to St Marys so I could enjoy my surprise breakfast! Complete with flowers and a great spread of food!
It was in just enough time to get to our band practice for a special project called HOME (that I talked about last summer). The group is comprised of my four sons, and my friends three (of four) daughters who lived next door to us when our oldest kids were little. Cheri’s girls also have taken music from me at some point but mostly we are all like family. Even the younger ones who didn’t grow up together after we all moved still have this cool familiarity! We always joke with her four daughters and my four sons, we have lived vicariously through each other. The eight of us (as Cheri’s youngest Blair opted out but still sings her heart out in the background) have had many laughs and a lot of childhood stories! Looking at them all today and this huge group, of absolutely different and dynamic people, all coming together to play music made for an interesting day of reflection and gratitude. With the years of work, the years of love, sweat and tears put into raising these children in ever- changing worlds, I must say it was pretty cool to see us all in this room playing music. I don’t know if it is my age, but it’s like flashing back to these people as 3 and 4 year olds and just how far we have all come and what a great accomplishment to have been a part of this whole motherhood thing!
This crazy group of kids (who all call me Mom) will be playing at the Mitchell Canada Day Celebration where we will be opening for my kids’ dad’s show band, Fresh Horses. A whole pile of history on one stage that is for sure! So a quick band practice and more flowers and gifts arrived from my boys but my main goal was to have a picture with them all! It was a fast moving visit but it was awesome and left Max and I for a cool movie night that Jesse crashed with his laundry!
And also on this day, on the other side of the coin, I think of my mom. It is hard to believe it has been almost 12 years since she passed away. I read posts by young people who lost their moms, and I know even at 38 it was a hard thing. I may not have been dependent on her for those youthful needs but it was always a comfort to know I could call her anytime, to come and take care of the kids in the way that no one else could, just knowing she was a phone call away was of great comfort. I think of what she brought to me, she was a tough cookie. I learned resilience and perseverance and the unending love of a mother. How many times in my life’s experience of being a mother did I think, oh, I should pick up the phone and apologize to her for different things. Things you cannot understand until you experience them as a mom. But I figure she is watching and knowing from her place now. She lived with rheumatoid arthritis for as long as I could remember, she didn’t complain, had more surgeries than the bionic woman and worked every day that she could and could walk and out shop all of us!
So this summer as I round that crazy bend of turning 50 I want to walk and hike, as the one thing my mom always wanted to do if she “had better legs” was to hike and walk and walk and walk! And when we were little we did hike the Bruce Trail, we biked and skied until she couldn’t. But not much kept her from moving at whatever pace she could keep up to. This year I am going to find some of those trails and enjoy them and do some more reflecting on this ever-changing motherhood thing, from all sides, and I, without expectation, am hoping like motherhood it will be a really interesting and cool journey.