Unfortunately, it was not spent with my own mother, this day before Mother’s Day, which is now as I type this lovely little blog. I’ll have to set my mom’s card out so she sees it in the morning. Yes, she lives with me, much to the dismay of my husband, but she’s ill and elderly, so what’s a daughter to do?
No, today was the first ever Mother/Daughter event held by the company I work for (I am a Life Skills Mentor for teenage girls–mostly Native American), and it was quite the success, aside from the wonderful detours during transport (really, Arizona’s emblem should be an orange cone for all the construction that goes on). A transport (by three separate people going in three different directions) that should have taken one to one and a half hours ended up taking three (for me) due to these detours and the fact that SOMEONE forgot to fill the tank of the minivan I drive, which alone cost me about 15 minutes. Part of the freeway was closed, another part of the freeway was down to one lane. I had to slow down, backtrack, wind and weave to get to the other side of town (that would be the south part of town) and then south to another city. Holy Jeebus! Really? Yes. It was all I could do to zip my lip so as not to offend the elderly Native American woman in the backseat. We must remain professional, right? Besides, my elders taught me respect, something I have noticed is lacking in today’s youth.
We had some wonderful mother/daughter relationship building activities (thought up by my über-crafty colleague) that went over well with the small group. Picture frames filled with the word MOTHER, which you write vertically and then add a word horizontally (M-agnificent), planting flowers in fancy little pots for each to take home, a Q&A session with questions involving the likes of “what significant thing has your mother taught you?” as well as some silly questions, a BBQ, and a raffle for some great prizes! Of course, ALL mothers received a gift. I was even able to plant a couple of flowers in a pot for my own mother. She loved it! =)
What you may not understand here is that this time spent was very important to these mothers and daughters. My mom has always been with me in one way or another, but some of these girls do not live with their mothers, for various reasons. Some have a ton of brothers, so that mother/daughter time is very rare.
The wisest of them thanked us for giving her this rare opportunity to spend with her granddaughter. They all thanked us and were pleased with the day, which made me smile. It’s unprofessional to shed a tear in front of them, but right now, my eyes are watering just thinking back on the day. But, thankfully, I was wearing sunglasses. =p
Working with them has made me realize and appreciate, through all her faults, my mother in ways I never had thought of before. Really, when you get right down to it, my life wasn’t all that bad, and rez or not, circumstances and situations cross the cultural barriers. We just don’t realize it until we see and experience another culture. I grew up surrounded by cultural diversity, living in what some call the “ghetto” and always near the rez. My “girls” were surprised to discover that I learned how to make “fry bread” or “pop-overs” in the 6th grade. Yes, a “white girl” knows how to make fry bread. But not all of them see the “white girl” in me anymore. That makes me smile. It tells me that the last eight months have had some effect on them.
Cherish the time that you have with your mother/daughter. As one who cannot give birth, the closest I have come to being a mother at this time is my teenage foster daughter, but that will never be nearly as close to being a mother.
So, I want to say Happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there! You have the toughest job in the world, and I envy every second of it.
UPDATE: Ok, so my foster daughter drew me a beautiful picture for Mother’s Day. =) *wipes tear from eye* Now it MUST be framed!