FTSF, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, Piece of Cake, Special Occasions

Mother, May I? #TGIF #MothersDay #FTSF

“You didn’t raise us right.”

That might not sound like something a child (even a grown one) should say to their parent, but we say it all the time. It’s one of those inside jokes in our family and you’d have to be quite familiar with how we roll to get the humour in such a statement.

I see it as a commentary on just how hard it is to be a parent, something we’re all realizing as grown children and a fact my brother and sister (both fairly new to parenting) are especially coming to understand. Parenting is hard and our parents did well, incredibly well.

Our mother was half of that effort. Happy Mother’s Day Mom. XOXO

***

Oh, Mother sounds like the beginnings of a swear word to me, but I can see that being one of the many parts of being a parent, a mother, as motherhood sometimes causes swearing (hopefully under one’s breath) to occur.

I’m reminded, every March, that Mother’s Day isn’t celebrated the same time of year in all places around the world.

When I think Mother’s Day, I think floral arrangements, but a big reason for that is my mom’s particular love of flowers, plus spring in full bloom.

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The magnolia is one of my mom’s favourites.

As for Mother’s Day long gone, I think of bringing flowers to my oma, my dad’s mother.

Recently I have been thinking more about a serious topic, with the new video honouring the mother of a seriously ill child, especially as I think back twenty or so years to when my mom had her husband in an operating room, undergoing surgery in one hospital, while having her youngest daughter (me) in an operating room across the street at Toronto’s Hospital For Sick Children.

What strength she had to have shown that day. I was so focused, at the time on myself going into surgery. I was just young enough that I didn’t really think of such things, per se, as what my mom might be going through, the thought of possibly losing a daughter and/or a husband that day, however slim the chances.

Now, this year, I wanted to write an article where I interviewed some of the moms in the video and mine, but I was unable to secure a publication spot. I will write this piece, sooner or later though. In fact, I think my own mom and I could co-author a book of our own together.

So much of what she did for me, fighting for the integrated education I had, she did with such determination. She would have gladly written/spoken about it, and has done. I hope to write about it, from my perspective, at some point too. The world needs to know there is a mother like mine out there.

My mom heard I was receiving a few odd and rather spammy comments on my blog and warned me to cut back on posting on my blog for a while, to lay low, and yet here I am.

It’s not like I don’t value her advice. In fact, there’s nobody whose opinion I value more.

I always take it into advisement and, this time, while I saw her point, I decided I couldn’t not write my blog. I recognized her suggestion as that of a worried mother, one always a little afraid of what the Internet might attract. I couldn’t very well fault her for worrying about me.

I can never express everything my mom did for me, to get me through the tough times, and to celebrate the happy times, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try anyway.

***

I spent a night at my sister’s house, the one we grew up in as kids, staying home with my infant niece while her mother went to a Mother’s Day tea with my nephew, at his school, the same school his mother and I attended growing up.

We discussed the soother, a tool many mothers choose to give their babies. My sister didn’t with my nephew and isn’t with my niece. She has tried to avoid it. This brings up the whole judgment thing, mothers judging each other and also themselves, and everyone knows how common that is and also how toxic it can become.

I respect my sister’s decision. I respect the soother rout many moms choose to take. Neither one is the wrong one, same as breast fed/bottle/formula or the many other choices mothers must make, both big and small.

I did wonder, as I held my niece and played with my nephew, hearing about the funny kick in the air thing he did when he got off the bus and heard that I was still there, about my own thoughts on Mother’s Day.

I leave all the hard decisions to my sister, knowing in my heart that she will make the best decisions for her children, just like our mother did for us. This leaves me and my thoughts once all the crying, cooing, and little boy questions and stories have given way to me being on my own again tonight.

Mother’s Day is a time where I’ve celebrated my grandmother, now my own mother and the mothers of my precious nieces and nephews. It’s when I hear all about mother/mom and try not to think too hard about what I might never be or have or do. Will I ever be a mother myself?

As each March/May comes and goes, I feel as though the possibility of my becoming a mom grows ever slimmer. Will I ever make peace with that, if that ends up being my lot in life?

I don’t know, honestly. It may, very well, be the best thing. Truthfully, it is painful for me, when I see a mother and their baby, no matter the age, even as being a daughter is one of the best parts of being me. I see the way a mother talks and interacts with their child. I wonder what that feels like.

Do I have that, to some degree, of course. I feel the force of the bond and connection between myself and my nieces and nephews, a feeling I was unfamiliar with, just over six short years ago. Is this the same, or even close to what they feel?

I do derive some comfort when I’m told that the two intensities of emotion and love aren’t all that far apart, sure I do. Is it enough to take away all the sting of it?

I am lucky. I know that. That’s about all I know. I love my nieces and nephews, my sisters who are mothers, and my mother too. I wish flowers and family for you all.

***

This has been another edition of
Finish the Sentence Friday
and an awfully special one at that.

Kristi is the host, like always, but this week she has
Lisa from The Meaning of Me
joining her.

Happy Mother’s Day ladies. Two of the best mothers I’ve met in recent years.

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Blogging, Kerry's Causes, Special Occasions, Spotlight Sunday

International Women’s Day 2015: Making It Happen

GET ON YOUR FEET (Make It Happen) – Gloria Estefan on YouTube

“One day’s commemoration, no matter how special, is not enough. We know the march is not over. We know the race is not yet run.”
—Barack Obama

The above quote is from the president’s speech at the 50th anniversary of the march at Selma, Alabama, that took place this weekend and which was a defining moment for civil rights in the US all those years ago.

However, as much of what was said was directed to racial equality in America, much of what he said I thought applied very well to all such pushes for equality, to be found anywhere.

This is why I included it here for my March 8th post on

International Women’s Day.

The biggest things I am hearing today, not unlike any time feminism of any kind is discussed, are as follows:

**Both men and women like to ask why we need a day to talk about or celebrate women? Shouldn’t women be celebrated every day of the year? What good does singling girls and women out on just one day out of the year do?

I ask these questions too. I hear the same basic question asked about Black History Month, for example. I wonder it every time a day is set aside to focus on anything disability related. I wish I wasn’t scooped up, as far as my blindness goes, into one day.

The day is only a brief twenty-four hours long and then it is back to the status quo. A lot of the rest of the time I feel ignored and misrepresented all the others.

In my more negative moments I ask myself what any of these days actually accomplish.

Is it those who are the first to call out feminism of any kind as a movement for separation and blame that is the problem? Do certain people not want equal rights for women talked about because that might actually make a difference for change in the future? Why does that threaten so many, so very much?

Why should we be ashamed and made to feel like we, men or women, are either bragging, or whining, or making too much of the issue?

**This day is being turned into a silly day of fluff and commercialized and that it should be just about the serious.

Of course a lot of what is talked about is serious stuff. It is an international problem that we need to work on together, internationally. It shouldn’t be taken lightly or for granted, that we even have this day be what it now is.

More than twenty years ago there was nothing like it to celebrate, not like we have it now. That is not so long ago still.

Right now I am reading a lot about women traveling safely because I am hoping to travel more myself. I have both that and the fact of my disability to contend with when traveling and this is not a small thing.

Again, I feel like I am being silly or making more of it than I really should. Why do I feel like that?

I am about to watch the highly controversial documentary about the brutal gang rape and death of a woman on a bus in India.

I will be writing about my thoughts on the documentary this week, once I’ve seen for myself how the matter was dealt with in the film.

I have said it before, but it bears repeating.

I am lucky to have been born where I was and living where I do. Canada is not somewhere I feel unsafe on a daily basis. I know a big part of that is how I was raised and the blessings I have had, although things aren’t always perfect, but I want to help speak out here because I have the right to do that and am not being persecuted or censored like so many.

Girls need a fair chance at living without violence, receiving the same educational opportunities as boys, and of course equal pay for equal work is a big topic in the news.

I don’t want to hide and bury my head in the sand about any of these issues and, although I am unsure about hearing more on the crime that was perpetrated in India on this documentary, I believe we need to hear about it and to use any day that we can to talk openly about what we all deserve for our world.

I have a niece who deserves to be treated equally. I want that for her future.

I also have nephews who will hopefully grow up in a more accepting world and I know they will learn that women should be valued and appreciated. I know this because I know what amazing and capable parents they have, but not all children are so lucky.

As long as we allow ourselves to feel silly or overly sensitive, all stereotypes and negative treatments will continue to be permitted all over the world.

I want to recognize some truly wonderful women that I know, on this day:

My mother is at the top of the list. She is strong and wise and she always knows what’s best. Okay, so maybe that “mother’s know everything” line is a lot of pressure to put on anyone, but she handles it quite well.

🙂

I want to declare what amazing mothers my two sisters are. They are both quite new at the whole thing, five years or less of experience yet, but they have raised the sweetest and best children and they love with grace, bravery, and warmth.

I was able to take part in a blogging project centred around compassion, what we women are supposed to be pretty good at, and the ladies who first began 1000 Voices For Compassion are prime examples:

Reflections On 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion

I recently wrote a blog post where I mention several female bloggers and writers who kick ass at what they do. I wanted to include them again,

Kind and Generous

I have written a good number of posts over the past year, highlighting women doing spectacular things, of whom I admire:

He For She and Equality,

Bigger Than Sheezus,

Lucky Ones,

and

Up We Go.

These are some perfect examples of why I do not only wait for one day a year to bring attention to the incredible women to be found everywhere. I have my blog for just this very reason and I will continue to write about as many as I possibly can, right here.

Just as parenting bloggers come together to find strength and support in the words of one another, I have done this with so many brave female bloggers and that is why they deserve to be mentioned here and on this day.

Whatever the issue may be: equal rights, empathy in love in relationships, or whatever it may be I think we feel better when we speak up and really listen to each other.

The silences must be broken like the bursting of a dam.

For additional info on IWD:

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/happy-international-womens-day-google-doodle-celebrates-female-achievement-across-the-globe-10093489.html

http://proof.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/06/portraits-of-strength-seven-extraordinary-women/

http://canadacouncil.ca/council/blog/2015/03/internationalwomensdayletscelebratetodaysstrengthsandtomorrowsaspirations

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