Ham. Pineapple. Mother’s Day. What more did you want?

The Mommy Prayers pit crew is down for the count, crumpled to the floor (well, to be precise, the couch) by a weekend and then a bunch of weekdays of book-launch festivities that included some awesome family n’ friends connections and re-connections, more than a few high-end sweets, and a little cocktail we called the Missing Binkie that incorporates a clear liquid I haven’t been able to consume in quantity since college days (damn you B.B. King at the State Theater).

Thank the Lord some of my cohorts in crime are still able to ingest in typical volumes. Me, I stuck with the squished grapes of the white variety. Lovely as always.

There are way too many people to thank for the book-launch highs, but in particular, the Mommy Prayers matriarch, 72 and still kickin’ it, really delivered by dragging a significant number of her nursing co-workers to the book signing to really send our little tome out into the world in good style.

(Have I mentioned how much I adore “old nurses,” as she freely refers to herself and her lady buddies? Topic for another day: Why nurses rule.)

All that maternal support puts me in mind of a twin set of prayers in Mommy Prayers: The Book Prayer for My Mom, Too Close to Home, and Prayer for My Mom, So Far Away

Because isn’t it always like that when you birth a baby or host a first birthday party or stage a bris or baptism or first Communion or Little Miss ballet recital? Either your mother is there, and driving you a teeny bit bonkers, or she’s not – far away or estranged or even passed on — and you’re teary and feeling sorry for yourself and for her, for all the good stuff she’s missing.

There’s just no happy medium with Mom involvement, especially not in the early days.

Hence either this:

Dear God, My mother is driving me crazy. She’s crammed our tiny apartment with stuff – frilly outfits we wouldn’t dream of putting on our daughter, dozens of onesies, hundreds of baby wipes, and cases of infant formula, even though she knows I’m trying to nurse exclusively.

Or this:

Dear God, My mother is breaking my heart. Why won’t she come visit? Oh, we had a lovely “virtual shower,” but it’s not the same as having your mom drop by with all the little day-to-day things you need, like onesies and baby wipes and a can of formula to have on hand, just in case the nursing isn’t working out.

For the record: My mom was very near when I became a mother myself – not in the room, where lots of people now have their mothers for the big moment, but close enough that I could hear her exclaim, “That baby is blue!” as Firstborn was whisked past her for what turned out to be an extremely temporary visit to the neonatal ward (umbilical cord shenanigans + placental funkiness that, trust me, you don’t wanna hear about).

She saved our lives those first weeks of infant shock, when all we had time to do was try and get Firstborn to nurse (oy, another topic for another day) and sit in the perpetual Bath of Sitz.

I’ll always remember the night she dashed over after work, still in her nurses’ uniform, to drop off dinner. She was out of entrée ideas at that point – it was ham slices with pineapple, in a little aluminum tray that made it look exactly like an airline meal. (Note to young readers: airlines used to give you food, for free, as part of your astronomically high ticket price. It wasn’t any good, but sitting as you were, belted in low and tight, it was something to do.)

Mr. Mommy Prayers and I groaned and rolled our eyes at those flaccid pineapple rings – after all, this was back when we still ground our own coffee beans every morning and ate runny European cheeses off artisan crackers at 9:30 every night by candlelight.

We snarked, but then we scarfed — wolfed every last morsel down, as happy as we’d ever been to have a hot meal. File it under the endless list of Things Your Baby Makes You Do That You Never Thought You Would.

That pretty much sums up Mom Close To Home for me: I’ll take it, I’ll like it, and I’m coming back for more.

So Happy Mother’s Day, Mal, and Happy Mother’s Day to everyone else, whatever concotion your beloveds  have cooked up for you this weekend. Eat up — it’s all good, isn’t it?

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2 Responses to “Ham. Pineapple. Mother’s Day. What more did you want?”

  1. Deb Dunbar Says:

    Love this! Especially the part about loving old nurses, which I pretty much qualify as these days.

    My eldest made dinner for me on mothers day- “my special macaroni with secret herbs and spices”, which turns out to be Kraft Dinner with OldBay seasoning. Of course I oohed and ahhed an orange smile, although I was hoping by 15 he would have moved past this culinary phase. Breakfast was served by #2- cereal with bananas (too much work to do the slicing himself, but I do credit him with bringing the knife and banana to the bed without a second request). #3 is a girl- phew- received artwork and a beautiful tablecloth i had pointed out months ago.

    Happy Belated Mothers Day to all you moms, and those who know how to act like a mom now and again.

    • Tracy Mayor Says:

      Thank for the mom-day recap, Deb, but if you think you qualify as an “old nurse”….my mom and her buddies are in their early 70s now, so you have awhile to go there… 🙂

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