Family Circus

No one can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys. - Doug Horton

Saturday

Mothers' Day

Not a typo. I have three women that I consider 'Mom'. One of them actually pushed out my nine pound, 23 inch body and then drifted to sleep as I began barking orders about how cold the delivery room was and how I really wanted a glass of red wine. The first woman that I called 'Mom' is my actual mother. No surprise there. I admire her for how hard she worked to keep it all together while raising two turbulent teenage girls, often working two jobs to have enough money to provide Christmas gifts. After my parents' divorce when I was 10, my mother rarely spoke about men in general, but always had a 'friend' available to fix plumbing or repair the car. I remember thinking that I had no need to get married, to depend on a man. Then I met the man I eventually married. My mother married her husband two months (exactly) before I married my own husband. The same woman whom I thought knew nothing when I was a teenager quite suddenly became a wise, nuturing woman when I gave birth to my own daughters. My daughters call her 'Granny'.

The next woman that I consider my Mom has been married to my father for 19 years. I will say that technically, she is my 'step-mother', but only because I know that it's a title that many people today can comprehend. I have trouble calling her step-mother, because it sounds less dignified than her respectful place in my life. She never tried to be my mother. I felt nothing but love as she helped to educate me on the facts of life: explaining what I now know are common sexual terms, and letting me know what it meant to be a woman when I started my period in the 80s. I call her by her first name, but I've considered her my 'Mom' my entire adult life. My daughters call her 'Rainie'.

I married into a loving family when I married my husband. It began when a college boy invited me to a Fourth of July cookout for our first date. At his parent's home. With his entire family. I observed how my husband treated his mother, and knew that he loved her. I listened to him bickering with his sister in the same way that I bickered with mine. When DH and I finally married, it was in the lovely garden that bordered the backyard of his parents' home. We were married with only 12 people in attendance ( family, friends, and neighbors who watched him grow up). My husband's parents opened their home again in August 2003, when I was released from the hospital, but still confined to a wheelchair. What a blessing to have my husband's family living less than two miles from our house, with both a wheelchair-accessible first floor and master bathroom. Aside from being my mother-in-law, she is my friend. I call her Mom. My daughters call her 'Grandma'.

Sorry for any confusion. I know now that when I write 'Mom', I really should clarify which one of the three I'm referring to.

Each of these women hold an equal and special place in my life.

I pray you have a jubilant Mother's Day!

CAST & CREW

Erin: 31, Emcee. Witty redhead, handy with a whip.

DH: 30, Strong Man. Comedian, defender of virtue.

Halie: 7, Chimpanzee. Pulls teeth, loves bananas.

Catie: 5, Leaping Lemur. Gentle and cuddly, loves grapes.

Rosie: 2, Cappuccin. Flings poo, loves carrots.

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