Sunday, March 05, 2006

Tough love

I can see this cross-pollenization of mom-daughter blogs will have to be worked through. Does anyone have an operating manual handy? In the meantime, I'm going to risk this open letter to my daughter at breed 'em and weep. It's the closest I can come to a Hallmark "Get Well Soon".

Dear Daughter,

I nag because I care.

Ever since you and I were first introduced (you knocked first, remember?), I have not been able to get you out of my mind. I was quite new at this whole preggers thing and had no sisters to fill me in. My Polish-American momma and assorted cousins were wonderfully supportive but did not offer much in the way of practical advice, except for my mom’s classic adage: “Don’t worry about childbirth – they expand when they hit the air.” All this because I felt your first kick and expressed some anxiety over my ability to handle the Big Event five months later.

Well, I did handle the BE with all the strength and prayers I could muster - mostly alone in a very small cubicle with a young intern who stopped by once or twice, in between my Hail Marys, to tell me I had a very high threshold for pain. The gauntlet was thrown down with those words. I had to live up to the hype. Say one Hail Mary and call me when you’re fully dilated. Having been the good Catholic school girl, I knew not to question authority. Just offer it up for the salvation of all those pagan babies whose mommas obviously had issues of their own.

Your dad heard the same words too but elsewhere in the hospital. The culture at the time did not really support all this grand sharing of maternal pain and birthing tubs with the daddies-to-be. The mommies were expected to wing it alone with their trust and devotion in the male authority figures who dispensed the orders along with the patronizing platitudes.

Nevertheless, your birth was every bit the Big Event I had anticipated. You came, you saw, you conquered me in the first few seconds I glanced down at your tiny face. I’ve never been the same since. And I got to repeat the wondrous experience all over again with your brother! Who would have thought those Hail Marys could garner such blessings. Childbirth, the gift that keeps on giving. Four unique grandchildren, with another on the way. I’ve got a silly smile on my face as I write this. I secretly think a pagan baby must have adopted me and showered good karma in my path.

Exponentially, you did expand when you hit the air. You grew bigger and I grew with you, learned from you, laughed with you and cried with you. I may have not had all the answers and disappointed you at times. But you never disappointed me. You were my Big Event, my baby girl with the bright searching eyes.

Now look at you, happily married and a mother yourself. Nanny wasn’t so wrong after all, was she? Babies do expand … and so do hearts.

I’m worried about you, a mother’s prerogative. My heart tells me that you have probably been over-exerting yourself and there can be a hundred good reasons for the “ehh” symptoms this past week. But my head tells me that I don’t like that false-positive reading on the EKG and that maybe your bloggers are on to something. And so, I push a little. Send some emails to your brother. Say a few Hail Marys (they seemed to have served me well in the past). And get on your case!

It’s called tough love. Live with it.

Mom xxoo


Antique Mommy said...

It's always a treat to stop by and see a new post - this one especially sweet. Oh that everyone girl could get a letter like that from her mom.

Debby said...

I got on her case a bit for you too. She is truly blessed to have a mother like you to look out for her!

√Čireann said...

But that's what my mom says about *ME* :)

But seriously, you made me miss my mommy.

mom on a wire said...

Will you be my mommy? I want you to be my mommy too.

geogirl said...


I need a tissue.

Excuse me while I go call my mother now.

Holly said...

my mom and i had a much shorter but very similar conversation in the car the other day taking me to the doctor.

it made me cry.

i love my mommy.

i love all mommies

i hope my kids love their mommy.

Lisa said...

Bravo! I think she needs further tests!

kris said...

You're tops!

Barb said...

I will nag her everyday for you!

Tosha said...

Such a good post! Brought a little tear to my eye. I jumped over here from your daughter's blog and I had to read the "Mater's" blog too. You both are such interesting people! I promise that I mean that in a good way :) Keep up on the blogs!

Jenn said...

Okay, that wasn't too scary!

Thank you, Mama. If you would just move up here, you wouldn't have to nag long-distance! Think of that! We could go check our blood pressure together at the pharmacy...


geogirl said...

Don't do it Mater....It's a trap!

She wants free babysitting and possible someone to paint her kitchen!! ;-)

morningstar said...

I love love love this post. I had been sick a couple weeks ago and my mom was also worried which she expressed in the very creative way of calling me every other hour, disregarding that I had lost my voice and that the phone was not the right media to choose. I reacted a little annoyed, but the truth is I love her so much. I believe mothers and daughters share this special connection that is not comparable with anything else- we just hide sometimes and then we act annoyed.

Simon said...

Thirty-One years later, and my own mother still refers to me as her 'Schmutzie-boy' with this glazed look of adulation on her face. If it weren't for the fact that I can now sort of relate via my own progeny, it'd totally gross me out.

Neurotic Mom said...

You sound like a great mom, keep up the nagging. If she doesn't like it i will trade her, she can have mine.

Nichole said...

You and Jenn are so sweet. Is writing ability genetic? I think it might be.