Today is Mother’s Day and I am stoked! When you become a stay-at-home Mom (hyphens and everything) you realize that you literally have no days off. Those hyphens are there because the job NEVER ENDS. No one tells you this, but it’s true. Never Ends. You really only have the one day off. Mother’s day, that’s my work holiday. My bank is closed, the day is mine.
(John just came in asking me to change the baby and make him a smoothie, the baby, not John. John doesn’t drink smoothies unless you count the times the Little Prince flings it at him and he wipes it off his arm with his tongue. Anyway, I shouted “WORK HOLIDAY! The bank is closed!” and threatened to shiv him with my rigidly pointed finger. He looked at me like I was crazy. (I am, but that’s not the point.) I still made the smoothie but only after John agreed to the legitimacy of my work holiday. Some husbands make their wives breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day. My husband tried to foist the eight hours I spent driving back and forth across the state to see his mother as my Mother’s day gift because it was my idea. Nice try, lawyer. Not gonna happen.)
My plan is to garden. Spend as long as I want, outside with my audiobook headphones on. It’s gonna be bliss. Hot, sweaty, composting bliss.
But first I want to tell you about my Mom.
My Mom, oh man, I didn’t actually realize how hard this would be…
My Mom is a teacher. She is unfailingly generous. She produces big, lavish school plays as a hobby. She teaches learning disabled children to read, even when teaching trends dissolve the idea of teaching left behind children to read ( … don’t get me started on this calamity. I could go on all day about this clusterf*ck of an educational fumble.) Nevertheless, she is persistent.
Nevertheless, she persisted.
Do you remember this feminist battle cry? When Senator Elizabeth Warren ignored the orders of lesser men and charged across No Man’s Land to liberate an enslaved Dutch town? Oh no wait, that was Wonder Woman. Same Difference. No, Elizabeth Warren tried to call out then potential Attorney General Jeff Sessions on his past racist practices and other men shouted her down, decrying Sessions feelings, and literally threw her out of the senate meeting. Later, when explaining why they sent a full grown-ass woman, let alone a fellow senator, to her room for not being sweet, they sited a little known “Rule 27,” that said you can’t be rude to other senators (apparently asking about factual events everyone else wants to forget is “rude.”) “We repeatedly told her about rule 27,” they said, “Nevertheless, she persisted.”
This is my Mom. (Not Elizabeth Warren, my Mom is Janet Burkhalter. But she is, nonetheless, persistent.)
Once she has an idea she works tirelessly to achieve it. No matter who says no. My Dad sometimes calls her the bulldozer for this behavior. And while this may not always be a flattering moniker, everyone in our family would admit that when my Mom wants to do something, there is no stopping her. Much like a bulldozer.
That’s who she is to the world. Mrs. B to her students, Granny Burkhalter to those students that transcend the student-teacher relationship to family, Crazy Janet to the people who are amazed and probably a little intimidated by her, and Hero to those she saves.
Mom, to me. But that is also insufficient. She was the first person to laugh at my jokes. Even when they weren’t funny. The person who always forgave me my behavior when I did things that were hurtful or didn’t make sense. Allowed me to think my silly mistakes were correct, except when it mattered. Pushed me to be better, and provided the resources to pursue every dream. Supported my husband too when he became her first son. My partner in crime for the last fifteen years of theatre and writing.
It’s pretty simple actually, if I have the courage to say something so corny…
I’ve said that my Dad is my hero. We share a lot of the same problems, and through his perseverance and hard work, he has led my sister and I through some of the the darkest parts of the storm.
But my Mom…. my Mom is my best friend. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!