Sunday, May 14, 2017

May 14: Mother's Day, Classic Saint Marty, "Heart to Heart"

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there--mothers and aunts and sisters and neighbors and friends.  All the women who nurture and care for people.

My daughter danced this morning.  Pretty soon, we will be heading to Olive Garden for lunch--my wife's choice.  I have to say that she is the most patient and loving and understanding mother.  When I am ready to go medieval on my kids for something, she is the person who takes the chains and whips out of my hands.  Every day, she demonstrates how much she loves our children through small sacrifices.  She is amazing.

On this Mother's Day, I have an episode of Classic Saint Marty that aired about two years ago, when I was dealing with my daughter's first step toward independence . . .

May 14, 2015:  Vague Depression, Daughter's Trip, Little Princess

Although he had confided in his father about his decision regarding the seminary and it was hardly a secret in their household, Robert could not bring himself to tell his mother about his doubts, for the young man truly believed that one of his jobs in life was to seem independent.  So even though he suffered through many a bad day, even after talking it over with his father, when a vague depression came over him, as if he already knew about his true future, and wanted to rest his head upon his mother's lap, to feel her reassuring hand on his head, he kept his feeling bottled up inside--at least around her.

Robert Ives is a young man struggling with very adult issues for the first time in his life.  He is not going to college.  Or getting married.  Or starting a new job.  Robert has decided to devote his life to God.  He's terrified and confused, and, even though he craves his mother's attention, he can't bring himself to admit it.  He's growing up.

My daughter is going on a class trip tomorrow morning.  In sixth grade, it was a day trip to Mackinac Island.  Seventh grade, a couple of days at a survival camp.  This year, it's Great America.  Tomorrow, I will drop her off at 4:45 a.m., and she will climb on a bus and head off to Chicago.  Without me or my wife.  Wearing a tee-shirt that says "Class of '19."

Yes, I know I'm being melodramatic.  My daughter will be back in the bosom of her family around 3 a.m. on Saturday.  She will be crabby and tired, and she won't want to tell me about what she did over the past 24 hours.  She will get home, climb into bed, and proceed to sleep for the next 12 hours.  Maybe she'll get up to go to the bathroom.  I may slide a pizza under her bedroom door about noon.

My daughter is a good kid.  She studies hard, gets straight A's, and reads all the time.  On weekends, she goes to church on Saturday and Sunday (sometimes with a little grumbling, if not outright hostility).  And she's going to be a high school freshman next fall.  She's already talking about getting her driver's license.

Yes, I'm feeling a little nostalgic for the times my daughter would lean against my chest and let me be her daddy.  These days, when I wake her up in the morning, I have to announce to my wife, "I have released the Kraken." 

Saint Marty isn't ready for his little princess to turn into a prom queen.

Not this kind of prom queen

And a poem for Mother's Day . . . 

 Heart to Heart

by:  Martin Achatz

Luke says Mary kept every-
thing—angels roaring in
the night, shepherds crawling
through dung and hay, camels,
comets—all these things,
gospels and gospels, stored in
the four chambers of her heart.
I wonder if Einstein’s mother
had room enough in her
ventricles for quanta and
atoms, light’s slow passage
through the eye of the universe.
Or Darwin’s mother enough
space in her atria for
all the creatures of the Galapagos—
tortoises and iguanas, butter-
flies and cormorants.  Lincoln’s
mother died before she had
to squeeze Gettysburg and
emancipation under her ribs,
and I believe Shakespeare’s
mother departed this mortal
coil without Romeo or
the Globe nestled beneath
her breast.  My mother is
still packing things in
the attic of her chest.  Just
yesterday, she asked me if
I still write poems.  Yes, I told
her.  I’m writing a poem
about you right now,
I said.  She nodded, looked away.
I imagined her opening a box
with my name on it, wrapping
this poem in newspaper, placing
it beside the lanyard I made
for her in third grade, closing
the box again, putting it
back on the shelf in her bosom.
When she gets to heaven,
my mother will meet Mary
on a street corner,
and they’ll unpack their
hearts.  This, mother will
say, is a poem my son wrote
for me for Mother’s Day.  Mary
will hold out her hand, show
my mother the first tooth
her son lost, a tiny grain
of enamel in her palm.  They
will find a diner to have
coffee together.  They will sit
in a booth, brag about how
their kids changed the world.

1 comment:

  1. Truth - every child changes the world for their mother.
    (Nice job choosing a mother for your children who would save them from your medieval torture ;-) )