gratitude-a-thon day 2037: see ya february, wouldn’t want to be ya february

It’s May 21 and Mother Nature’s done her whole thing without missing a beat. Flowers are standing at attention and leaves are shading, and everything is going as planned. Even the weather is doing its best job to happily our pandemic PTSD. But what am I doing? What am I thinking about?

Winter.

Specifically, February, that most miserable of months. You’ve already been battered by January, with its five pound holiday weight gain, fureeezzzing temperatures, harsh wind and white stuff, and boom, in storms (no pun intended) February, forcing us to face another solid month of bone chilling cold, piles of snow, ensuing slush, and days so gray you feel like someone has drained the entire content of blood from every inch of your body. So fun.

Why, why you may ask, am i thinking of February when we have at least another four good weather months to delight us? Why am I not in the moment, all Eckhart Tolle? BECAUSE LAST WINTER WE PLANNED ON GOING TO CALIFORNIA FOR THE UNMERRY MONTH OF FEBRUARY, but instead a little virus prevented us from doing that and instead of just having to endure the ugliness that’s February in New England, we had to do it locked in the house, fearful of going outside, or even to the grocery store, not seeing friends, not doing anything, but working, watching helplessly as the death count rose (my father-in-law included included in that death count) and basically camping out in the den under a myriad of fuzzy blankets, viewing every movie and series that has ever been considered even mildly entertaining or of merit from the beginning of the creation of moving pictures.

So, yeah, I am thinking about February. And I am going to make a plan to vamos outta here to warmer climes right now, because then I can sit back and glory in the summer, my favorite time, all sorts of grateful, because I’ll know I won’t have to endure another February. Because I hate February. And c’mon, even Valentine’s Day all filled with love doesn’t save this loser month.

gratitude-a-thon day 2035: masks down

Shall we sing the Hallelujah chorus together replacing “Hallelujah” with “No more masks?” Should we have a mask burning ceremony? Should we make mosaic art our of our favorite face coverings? I’m considering all. Leaning toward the singing, although it would have to be by myself in my car, in a secluded area, because have you ever HEARD me sing. Yeah, and you don’t want to.

Despite the CDC announcing that if you’re vaxxed, you no longer have to wear masks in or outside, I live in a town where it’s still mandated, so for now, I will still be elasticizing my ears and covering up my mouth with one of the dozens and dozens of mask I’ve amassed this past year. But I am buoyed and REALLY grateful by this ditch the masks news because hell, that means Covid numbers are slowing down and vaccinations seem to be working.

It also means freedom from the intense fear and isolation of Covid hibernation. I can ‘t wait to walk down the street without feeling like I can’t breathe and if I do breathe, I might be taking in someone’s Corona droplets, which might cause me to get the virus, which might end in me on a ventilator, never getting to see what happens at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale.

So, yeah, congratulations people, we made it. The future is unknown, but for right now, you can take off your mask, or not. Having that choice is something to give an unmasked toast to.

gratitude-a-thon day 2034: what you give, what you get, happy mother’s day

Happy Mother’s Day Gratitude-a-thoners! Wherever you are, whoever you take care of, today is your day, although isn’t it obvious everyday should be your day, but you get this one, so you know, make do (classic mom stuff right there).

My path to becoming a mom was like a road you drive on right before they make the real road, that bumpy thing they lay down. Yeah, that. Plus add some major speed bumps along the route, the kind there are no warning signs for and that sends your head for a ride to the roof, and makes your stomach lurch. There were all sorts of detours, yield signs, do not enter areas, bridges over troubled water, and damn it, a series of endless red lights that seemed to be the length of the Eastern seaboard.

Then one day, after three years, it all ended, and i took the exit ramp onto the superhighway of mommydom. Yes, I took the long way around, but then, shazam, kids.

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This guy made me a mom. I’ll never forget it. Any of it. I love him madly.

And I gotta say, it has been one of the most spectacular, challenging, gorgeous, complicated and amazing endeavors I could dream up. Wow, holy shit, you’ve-got-to-be-kidding and sweet-baby-Jesus all rolled into one. That’s being a mom. You are simultaneously giving everything you have, while getting like seven PhDs in living. Not even Harvard could teach you what you learn when you become a mother.

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For a long time it seemed I would never have one child, let along two. But I got lucky. Here’s number two. Oh, what she’s taught me. I love every inch of her.

One of the major tenets of being a mom is giving. You’re giving all day (and night) long. You make The Giving Tree look like a slacker. The balancing act you must participate in between how much to give and how much to keep for ourselves as moms is performed on thread. It is a delicate little situation.

But here’s what I’ve found. When you give of yourself, you get something far beyond exhausted. It’s in giving that we find ourselves. It’s in the giving that meaning is found.

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This is my mom in her happy place, on the Cape. God, she loved the beach, and me. She was a giver. A superior giver. I miss her every single day. But boy am I grateful to have had her as my mommy salami.

I almost missed this chaotic journey. It could have easily happened. But I think I was a mom long before I got pregnant, protecting the idea of having a family with everything I had (one working tube, some of the best doctors and a big dose of hope). I have given a lot. Maybe sometimes too much. But what I’ve received in return, not from my kids, but because of my kids has made me a better, more grateful person.

Happy mother’s day, all you mothers. I see you.