Friday, May 7, 2010

mommies



My friend, Lance asked if I could come and address a group of mothers today at his school (he is the headmaster/administrator). He asked on Monday, and later confirmed that I would come with a message, 15 minutes to encourage the young mothers at his school, Everwood Pre-primary.

The mothers are parenting children between the ages of 2 to 5 (before kindergarten) and are fluctuating between being inspired and exhausted. How familiar their faces were!! I'd seen those faces in the mirror twenty years ago!! As I got to the school I recognized that the event was a big deal. The parking lot was brimming with cars, even overflow parking was accessed. The reception for the school was filled with pitchers of facy waters and barely alcoholic fancy drinks, finger foods, lots of a girls' favorite things.

I had a problem: I had prepared to address a small group of mothers and this was a school assembly. My favorite dream had been realized (I love speaking publically) but I was woefully unprepared. You see, I had come home after the gym and lunch with a friend only to find the computer hijacked (Mario obviously needed it for the meeting he attended) and my notes were on it. I improvised piling a load of books into my arms and took off.

So, my surprise at the size of the group was more than just surprise...it was more like panic. Then a wonderful thing happened. The kids performed before I could have a chance to speak. They sang and danced to oldies from the 50's. It was hilarious fun, and the kids were so beautiful! The mothers sat in the chairs, taping the performance on their iphones, cameras and video cams... I stood back in awe as I was given the gift of watching the most beautiful exchange between mothers and children performing for them.

By the time they finished, I was overwhelmed with love and gratitude. It was just last week (it seems) that Vince onstage hosting his class as they recited poems from Maurice Sendak's "Chicken Soup and Rice" in Kindergarten. Or that Alicia was performing as Alladin in Sacramento. Performing kids and the mothers who watch them have a deep tender place in my heart.

I surveyed the scene. I asked the mothers to turn their chairs from theater seating to a large circle. They obliged, their kids on their laps. I read a story from a book called "Love You Forever", the tear-jerking stroybook about a mother singing to her little boy, even as he grows up. I barely make it through the book without crying, and tell them that they are heroes. Sleep deprived, beautiful heroes.

I encourage them to love their children and their mothers, relaying that I have not been with my own mother on Mother's Day for the last three years. I also will not see my kids (or grandkids) this Mothers' Day either. Still, I am a blessed woman because I adore my own mother and love her so much...and look forward to talking with her on that day. I love my own kids with so much love it feels like me heart contains a moving ocean....

I end with the tale of the single swan feather from Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club. Some ladies are crying. Most thank me for the love and tenderness...and understanding. They turn into sympathizing mothers to me, in the absence of what they would consider dealthly calamity--no mother or children to be with on Mother's Day.

I leave and barely make it to my car when I burst into tears. Filled with emotion, I wonder why I agreed to do this.... my heart is so full. Like an ocean that's moving, love gushing out everywhere.

How much I miss them.....