Mother’s Day

I don’t know if it’s a sign of the times, but Mother’s Day for me has never been celebrated at a restaurant buffet. Breakfast in bed has occurred, but I’d rather get out of bed and eat in my regular spot at the table.

One of my sisters-in-law suggested a family gathering, but John’s working tonight. We’re  gathering on Memorial Day. I’m eager to be with my SILs, my brother-in-law, my in-laws. We have great discussions, and these days we have lots to talk about. These are gentle, honest people. No head games, no head trips, just a family enjoying each other and seeking solutions. I married into a wonderful family. And now we have these two great daughters. So there’s plenty to be thankful for.

I have friends who are worried about missing the mommy boat. I almost did. I didn’t have my girls until I was in my 40s, so they are miracles in so many ways. Don’t start a family while you’re in your 20s. If you’re lucky enough to get your life on track by the time you’re 30, then go great guns. You will be blessed in so many ways. You’ll be impressed by how much your love grows, everyday.

When Sophie  was born, we were in a constant state of wonder. But it was a little tough. She cried every time she peed. Jeeze. That was like a dozen times a day. She was also colicky. While John was at work, evenings because it was a morning paper, Sophie would begin her wailing session, which lasted a few hours each night. Had I been any younger, I might not have coped so well.We lived in a condo, and I’m sure her tiny pitch echoed in the Downtown Honolulu urban forest dramatically. Every night I told myself that the next day would be better, and I was never wrong.

One night, at wits end, I turned on the Oceanic directory to see what shows might be on so that I could watch while holding her, because I couldn’t put her down for more than 30 seconds at a time. (Yes, shower time was not even a break as she was in her little carrier in the bathroom with me, upset while I showered on the other side of the curtain!) What did I find? Oceanic was pumping Christmas carols over the air. I started singing along, through tears mind you, and it quieted her. This 3-month-old baby girl, intrigued by the melodies, the vibrations of my neck and chest as she clung to me, settled, and that little mind of hers started processing something new. Maybe she was crying out of boredom.

Being a first-time mom is such a difficult time. I always remind myself, as I look at my girls, what those early days with each of them were like. I don’t ever want to forget. I always want that warm feeling inside to smolder. Those were the times that could have had me writing off the whole motherhood experience. Instead, they shaped me into a fierce mama bear. And not just for my own kids, but also for others I see out in the world.

I’m sure that’s not unique.

Happy Mothers Day. But we all know, Mothers Day is every day.

By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.


  1. Amen, my friend. You are so right. If you have children too young you are too busy growing up yourself to be able to attend properly to a child. I always tell my nieces to let themselves grow up first, have fun, travel. Then decide whether or not to have children. You did it right. Your girls are precious and beautiful. I have a friend who had 4 children before she was 21, now in her 60’s her kids are approaching 50. That is too scary, how do you age when your children are right there behind you?

  2. I agree for the most part, particularly since I know *I* wouldn’t have been ready to have kids in my 20’s. But certainly there are exceptions. A friend of mine from high school had her first child at 19 and just recently had her 7th! She really stepped up to the job – even home schools/schooled them (a couple are already in college). I got to meet some of her kids a year or so ago, ages varying from 4 to 15, and they were all wonderful, respectful, intelligent individuals.

    For those women who know they want to be moms through-and-through, I’m not sure it makes a big difference if they wait till their 30s.

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