This year- I am home for Mother’s Day- but I leave for another PhD trip in just a couple of weeks… this time I will be gone three weeks, total. I have to fly out on my daughter’s birthday and I will miss my youngest son’s birthday. It is always something. I work hard to schedule around school concerts, graduations, First Communions, but with six kids I miss something “important” on every trip. It doesn’t get easier being away, in fact I would say it gets harder with every time I get on a plane. Sure, I am more organized, and maybe even the household runs much more smoothly when I am away now, compared to when I started three years ago. They’ve got it figured out, but the missing them all like crazy? I don’t think I will ever figure that out.
Here’s a little something I wrote when I was away last year;
As much as I tried to talk myself into believing that this was just going to be another day, I woke up feeling very aware that it is, (at home, not here) Mother’s Day, and that being 7,500 kms away from my own mum and 5,000 kms away from my kids, stinks. People often say things to me like, “Six kids! You must get spoiled rotten on Mother’s day!” but we’ve always happily rejected the “send Mom to the spa for the day” or “lavish Mom with jewelry” type of celebration. At our house it is always low key, and always includes things like, sweetly made crepe paper tulips or a carefully cut out construction paper card in the shape of a tea pot with a real tea bag tapped inside, sometimes there are flowers, and there is always a special meal (cooked by me, because, not to toot my own horn, but I am the best cook in the house), shared around the table with my old man on one end, me on the other, three of them to the right of me and three to my left. But today, not to sound like too much of a Debbie-downer, there will be none of that. As I sat having my coffee in front of the “telly” this morning contemplating that maybe I “deserved” a little “me time” and rolling up into a ball on the couch to watch a marathon of British gardening shows, seemed, momentarily, like a really good plan, I knew, in order to nip this pity party in the bud I needed to get up and get moving, or else, my whole reason, for being so far away from my family would all be for naught. I decided to go for a run along Birmingham’s Canal to clear my head and get my academic mojo flowing. A few minutes into my run, and what do I see swimming right alongside me the edge of the water? A Canadian Goose with her six sweet and fluffy goslings swimming behind her! (I am not making this up!) So, somehow in my fragile emotional state, I thought it would be a good idea to lean in for a closer look, thinking she too would be excited to see ME, a fellow Canadian and Mother! We would smile knowingly at one another, maybe share a few Mama-Goose comments like, “you’ve got your hands full!” or “enjoy, in blink of an eye they will be all grown up” but instead, she gave me one of those violent, demonic “back off crazy lady!” hisses and hurried her chicks away from me. I get it. I was a new Mom once too, and let me tell you, Goosey-Goosey Gander, you will loosen up and you will relax. With #1 I was reluctant to let anyone near him, let alone touch him, and by #6 I was pretty much tossing him at everyone and anyone who I thought may be able to complete the pass just so I could have a few minutes of peace. But today, as I turned to continue trudging along the canal I realized that for this Mother Goose, there nothing I wouldn’t do today to hang on to each and every one of my fluffy little goslings just a little longer. Happy Mother’s Day.