Sunday, May 13, 2007


obligate-v. (obligates, obligating, obligated) (be obligating) be obliged to do something
obligation-n. 1 something one must do because of a law, agreement, promise, etc. 2 the state of being obliged to do something.
obliging adj. helpful

Today is Mother's Day and if you are like me you feel obliged to send a card, buy flowers or perform some other "obligatory" act to show your love and appreciation for your mother. Boy, does that sound sarcastic but in a way I am wary of "holidays" that Hallmark has invented for the purpose of lining their pockets and emptying mine. Yeah, I'm a cynic. But that doesn't mean I don't expect a card from my doting husband and adoring children. Of course I do. And there'll be he!! to pay if there isn't a vase of flora on my dining room table by 3:00pm Sunday afternoon!

And yet...mothers are a unique lot-the crap they have to put up with! Whew! You know what I'm talking about! Whining, vomit, labor pains, snotty noses, excuses, lies, discipline (we do use the rod!), puberty, driving lessons, temper tantrums, excuses (I get a lot of those), fear, endless prayers, tears, knee pains, AND prayers before bed, hugs, I love yous, confidence gained, lessons learned, maturity gained. There's a lot of crap but it's worth the pain.

Mothers are said to be the caretakers of the culture. We pass on what was passed on to us - traditions. What we were shown, taught, we show and teach.

My mother taught me endurance. Her childhood was wrought with war, poverty, alcoholism, too-early independence and responsibility, and loneliness. She's a survivor. And always has a comforting word to say, always beginning with, "It's like I always say...." (if you have your health you have everything is her favorite). She's generous and never without a word of encouragement to get you going in the right direction.

My mother-in-law is a gem. Caring, compassionate, generous. The stereotypical mother-in-law jokes DO NOT APPLY! I am blessed.

So despite the pressure from Hallmark I will celebrate Mother's Day - giving thanks for the mothers I have and, of course, receiving hugs for being one.


Marti Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marti Smith said...

Oops, bad typo in my comment; need to try this again! Thanks for your post, Barb - well done. You know, looking at Hallmark cards for dads, I often have a hard time choosing one: I mean, the sentiments just seem over the top. Not that I have a bad dad, but he's just a guy who does the best he can and none of the cards seem to say that.

But with moms: even if they, too, are just ordinary people doing the best that they can, they do tend to have that unique place in life, family, and culture which you describe - and their impact is huge. It can seem like no praise is high enough.

Hope the road trip goes well, Barb! I'm sure the California clan will be glad to have some time with you guys.

Julie in SEA said...

When were the photos taken? Hope you have a safe trip, though we both know it won't be near as fun as the road trip we did to CA back in 19?? Yikes, I really can't remember—'95? Greet your CA family for me too. Enjoy your time together—how long will you be there?

Have you gotten your flowers yet? It's after 5pm there.

Love you, Barb!

Suzanne said...

Thanks you Mother's Days will get better and better.

celticpole said...

I got flowers - from my youngest and from a contest at church (the most kids with the youngest)
Nothing will compare to the road trip of '95. It is etched in the annals of time.
We leave wed. and plan on getting to cal. on friday. Ian will join us the next wed. and we leave to come home either sun/mon.

celticpole said...

I am compelled to update this entry: Dave gave me a most appropriate mother's day card - on Saturday!

Nairobi Paul said...

Moms are great. I love being married to one and having one that's still alive. We called both moms yesterday. The poor connections fought against us, but it was still good to talk.

Dave Moody said...

I'm obliged to agree with you...

Valerie said...

Isn't it funny how the word obligations has such a negative connotation nowadays. I can't wait for you to see the 50's instructional film on Family Obligations. It is so sweet.

I was just thinking of the phrase, "Much obliged," and wondering when did it go out of style?

Let's bring it back, along with Hello instead of Hey.

And while we're at it . . . HATS & GLOVES!

regressivepresby said...

You're totally obligated to contact your husband any way possible while on the road! Don't give me this no cell phone reception, its Oklahoma not Mozambique. I've been worried sick. As have your sister and mom and son!

Worried Sick said...

BARBIE! (Said in a harshly admonishing tone) Don't ever go for 8 hours on a road trip w/out contacting anyone ever again.

Thank God you're okay. Call collect if you have no service.

I just got my hair highlighted and I don't want any more gray popping up prematurely.

oma said...

I didn't know enough to be worried. I thought you might just be ignoring me. Did try and call a couple of times. Glad all are ok and I think you've been chewed out enough. Give the birthday girl a big hug....can't write a comment on the blog. Have a great time with your family. Lv. Sz

Valerie (AKA Formerly Worried Sick) said...

Emma, a Happy Birthday to you, little missy!!!

We'll have a fun celebration when you get here. How do you want to celebrate your birthday in California? Pool party? Movies & pizza? Newport Harbor cruise & Balboa Fun Zone? You name it and we'll do it! Remember what your mom always says, "Is that okay with you?" Just kidding, Barbie!

Countin' the hours,
Auntie Valerie