(originally posted on May 6, 2005)
This morning I simply sat under the sycamore tree in the backyard of the home I grew up in for two hours with my grandson. I thought of my mother. That's life. I know it. And I know something more: that on those long days when we in the sandwich generation feel squeezed and spent and are tempted to grouse about being either mother or daughter, we should be fall-on-our-knees grateful to be both.
Because the truth is simple. Our time is fleeting and dear. One day our mother who is buying us the doll we begged for; the next, or so it seems, we find ourselves taking a baby doll as a gift to a mother in the nursing home. It has always struck me that women in nursing home beds have baby dolls in their rooms. I suspect it is because they remind them of the happiest time of their lives. I know it is mine.
One day, in a hospital room somewhere, you will hold a hand that you can't even recongize anymore. It may be thin and dry and tiny, the rings way too big even with the guards you bought for her at the jewelry store.
Look closer and you'll recongnize the hand that pushed you in the swing, the one that felt your burning forehead when you were sick, the one that stroked your hair the first time you had your heart broken and cried for a solid three hours.
For all of you mothers, for all of you who want to be mothers, for all of you "other mothers" who nurture children not your own, may you have a lifetime of Mother's Days filled with your own brand of macaroni magic. I plan to.