The Momarch

Photo by Ashton Mullins on Unsplash

Mother’s Day, not long past, has always been a tricky one for me. Wanting to be celebrated, wanting my family to want to celebrate me. Wanting but not feeling deserving.

I always wanted to be The Momarch—the one who held the family together, who always had the birthdays down, who was the gathering place for her admiring family. The one who remembered to bring sunscreen and bug spray, who remembered the beautifully handcrafted quilt to spread on the ground for the children at outdoor events.

I bring this up because I am none of those, and My Guy had at least two such women at the outdoor concert of his family members, The Young Fables.

I believed I would be A Grownup when I had extra blankets in my closet like my grandma did.

I haven’t mentioned this to my son, but I thought he was 33 for a whole year before he actually was, and one grandson remained 14 in my mind until he was nearly 16. And at the concert as I slapped furtively at bugs in the dark outdoors, My Guy got up quietly to retrieve bug repellent wipes from his sister-in-law. When the concert was over I noticed the handmade quilt the kids had been sitting on was folded over his stepmom’s arm. Sigh. I am not those women.

My grandma was the Momarch of my family. In a chaotic childhood of constant confusion, she was the island of peace. Holidays and sleepovers at her house were when I felt At Home.

I believed that I would be A Grownup when I had extra blankets in my closet like my grandma did. I still remember her going into the closet to reach down another layer for me when I was cold on a sleepover, and feeling the sense of adult care.

I’m not sure I wll recognize what being A Grownup feels like if it arrives.

I know I bring something to the family table even if it’s not Momarch style—a willingness to listen, to appreciate the individuals my children and grandchildren are. I might not get their age or birthday right but I love them all HARD. I’m pleased none of them are little versions of me—they all seem stronger and more sure of their identities than I was at whatever their ages really are.

I’m not sure I will recognize what being A Grownup feels like if it arrives. I’m still waiting at the surprising age of fifty-seventeen.

Still learning, still growing. Still collecting blankets. I recommend it.

Love who you are, where you are, you’re worth it!

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