If you told me I would be spending the Saturday morning of Columbus Day weekend, after the longest first month of school in the history of the world, sewing cloth voodoo dolls onto a child’s black robe and top hat, I would have said you were losing your mind. And yet, guess what I just finished doing? One hour, at least ten needle pricks in my index finger, a few re-threadings of the needle, and presto! Because when the store doesn’t have the “perfect” voodoo witch costume, the one that meets all the specifications laid out by your nine year old daughter, it’s “mom to the rescue.” This week, it’s fake dolls from Michael’s being sewn on a costume. Last week, it was a white pumpkin carved with a ghost face for a movie party with a friend, and who knows what it will be next week. What I do know is this, whatever it is, if I can make it happen, then I’ll put down the laundry and the bills and the lesson plans, and stay up late after night meetings, or get up early before work starts and make it happen. Why? Because, as we all know, that’s what mom’s do.
I tell this story this weekend because in a non COVID – 19 world, this is the week I’d be sitting down to plan what to say at the annual SDA Mother Daughter Brunch. And although we cannot gather together this fall and pray and celebrate as we’d like to do, that does not mean I’m passing up the opportunity to remind all of the young ladies at SDA just how much they should appreciate their mothers. Far too often, we take our parents, both of them, for granted and it’s almost par for the course when it comes to teenage daughters and their moms. I well remember—although it’s long ago that I was a teenager myself, I can call to mind pretty quickly just how much I took my mom for granted—a mistake I’d never make today. Here I am all proud because I managed to sew some dolls on a hat. My mom, who was a school administrator as well, somehow found the time to make three Halloween costumes each year—homemade head to toe, decorate the house, get dinner on the table each night, help with homework, do her own work, and together with my dad, throw a party each and every October. (She made her and my dad’s costumes too!)
Young ladies of SDA, take a moment as you read this and think—think back to when you were four or five years old. What did your mom do for you in October to make Halloween magically fun for you? ( Mine made me a Princess Leia costume!) Or think back to when you were in the school play as a child…who helped you learn your lines? Who sat there with a huge bouquet of flowers even if you were playing “orphan # 3” in Annie Jr? Who drove you to ballet class, to soccer practice, to Rag Shop (remember those stores Moms?) at 6:00pm on a Sunday night to get what you needed for a school project? Who helped you sell Girl Scout Cookies or patched up your skinned knees after your first Pee-Wee basketball game? As you’re reading this…I’m certain a thousand images of all the things your mom (and your dad too of course…but I talk about Dads in January!) did for you growing up….things that you probably won’t fully appreciate it until you have a child of your own.
Being a mother means several important things:
Sleepless nights are worth it if you’re losing sleep to do something to make your daughter smile.
You worry no matter how young or old your daughter is—when she’s not under your roof, part of your heart isn’t either.
The phases“ you’re the worst mom ever”, “everybody else’s mom let’s them…”, “how come you can’t be more like _____’s mom” will roll right off your back when they are uttered, and within a few years…will wash off your heart as well. You know your daughter doesn’t really mean it.
You’ll wear the same: coat, sneakers, cocktail dress, whatever for years if it means your little girl can have the dress, sneakers, purse, whatever that she’s been dreaming of all year long.
The saddest Christmas morning is the one where there’s no wrapped doll under the tree—because it means your daughter is growing up! ( thankfully I haven’t hit this milestone yet)
Most of all, being a mother means loving unconditionally, from the moment you are placed in your mom’s arms onward, you become her “one true thing” and she’ll do anything to make your life as wonderful as she can. If we were at La Reggia together, by now, I’d be crying, your moms would be crying and many of you, although you’d say otherwise, might have a slight mist of tears in your eyes as well.
So, we may not be all together and it may be some time before the mothers and daughters of SDA can gather together and celebrate, but that does not mean you can’t take a moment today, to sit next to your mom, put your arms around her and say…
Nothing. Nothing at all. You don’t ever have to say a word. Know why? Because we moms already know and…we love you too. Missing all my SDA moms and daughters so much…and holding out hope that we can brunch together soon.