I've always had a healthy respect for Mothers (fathers too but today isn't about ya'll). My mother raised the four of us and had I been her; I would've thrown my hands up, asked what happened to my sweet-faced babies and walked away from the lot of us. As a matter of fact, there were days that BougieMom had clearly had it up to here with the lot of us. Growing up, we were in a house where the master suite was down a long halfway that had a door (with a lock) midway through. Some days Nellie Mae would retreat down that hallway and lock that door. We would stand at the door and knock calling out, "Mom!" She would reply (rather tartly), "She left town. Come back later." We knew she was too through with us and to leave her alone for a while. BougieDad would come home, see the door and say, "You kids send your mother out of town again?" We would nod shame-faced. He would swig his scotch and go on back there to repair whatever damage we'd done.
A few times she would just give us all The Look, toss her Harlequin in her purse and head out the door. Later, we found out she used to go up the street and just chill in a room at Holiday Inn for a few hours. I can respect that (more and more as I get older).
BougieMom would carry a kite stick in her Caddy. When folks got to acting up in her car, the stick came out and she would swat the hell out of whoever was acting up (or happened to be the path of the stick). One day, BougieYoungerBro and I decided we needed to do something about that stick. In the skewed logic only young children can have, we decided that if we painted the stick in her favorite nail polish she would love it too much to use it against us. (I don't know- we were delusional) So yes, he got the stick and I got the Revlon Frosted Cherry and we painted. Set it in a vice grip to dry overnight and then put it back in the car in the morning. The next time we were in the car, we got to tussling over something in the back seat and out came the stick. She took one look at that Frosted Cherry and may I say she broke the stick AND hurt her arm tearing us up that day. I can still hear her voice coming up through clenched teeth, "RUINED. MY. STICK. USED. UP. MY. GOOD. NAIL. POLISH!" Um, yeah – we didn't try that one again.
Lately, I've been babysitting my 3-year old BougieNephew. He's sweet as can be (when it's not naptime) and usually here for 6 – 9 hours. By hour 4, I'm ready to check into a Holiday Inn my darn self and there's only one of him.
Miz Nellie is now referred to as The Saint. Women of all ages flock to her and ask for advice, often punctuated with the awe-filled question, "How did you do it?" Out of the hood (serious hood) by age seventeen, double-degreed and married before 30 (back before that was doable). 45 years of marriage, 4 kids all degreed and breathing... she's still sane. Go 'head Nellie.
It's an awesome thing to make the supreme sacrifice that comes with motherhood and do it well. Literally your life is not 100% your own ever again. You are responsible for creating and molding human life. It really gets no more elemental than that. So hat tip, standing ovation and everlasting respect to all the moms, moms to be, grandmothers, aunties-acting-like-moms, and caregivers with no titles. Much respect and enjoy your day!
Anyone want to shout out their Mom today? Go for it… oh and of course... the mimosa recipe. (Please drink responsibly!)