Mom

A Collection Stories About Or From The Moms Of The World

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Don’t Worry! Its Just A Stage! by Noreen Braman

Noreen Braman

 

Like any parent, I can recite the dates and times of my child’s developmental milestones. Those famous firsts: first tooth, first steps, first words, all clearly remembered. Are they recalled so well because of instinctive pride? Hardly.

We remember them vividly because these events represent periods of parental relief. Parents of toddlers are like beginning water skiers, holding on for life as their child careens through all those celebrated “stages”.

We remember the Sleeping All Night milestone because it ends the Mixed Up Days and Nights Syndrome. Usually the infamous Teething Stage begins thereafter and each tooth is applauded for the few nights of unbroken sleep it brings.

First Steps are a thrill for parents, until we realize it heralds the Getting Into Everything phase, which arrives hand-in-hand with the Can’t Sit Still Stage.

During this time of constant motion, most children speak their first words and utter their first sentences. Fascination with the child’s speech dulls after spending days and weeks trying to comprehend and then translating for everyone else. Then, the baby talk clears and real conversations begin. If we are lucky enough to have them potty-trained by this time, we may think we see light at the end of the tunnel.

But there are more several more tricks up those innocent toddler sleeves. Parents of children in the “No” Stage know the meaning of exasperation. Following this is the equally trying “Why?” Stage. Reasonable people turn into screaming maniacs after spending a day with a “Why” child.

Somewhere around the time my oldest started school without a hint of the Won’t Do Homework phase and my youngest finally came out of the Terrible Twos, having thoroughly enjoyed his stint as dictator, I began to think that I could handle anything a preschooler threw at me. However, the middle child, in a brave effort to break out of the pack, invented a new stage, the “What If” Stage. Annemarie developed this infuriating game into a science.

For example, we were seated in a family restaurant, waiting and waiting for dinner. Annemarie wanted to know (as did we all) why it was taking so long. We explained several possibilities, but she wasn’t satisfied.

“I’m so hungry, I’m going to throw up!” she announced loudly. Hushing only encouraged her.

“What if I really did throw up in here?” she continued. We tried to pass over the question.

“What if someone just kept throwing up and couldn’t stop?”

Parties at nearby tables began to look uncomfortable. We whispered threats, but Annemarie had a whole restaurant of people to entertain.

“What if someone just walked by and threw up on my food? What if the waitress tried to clean it up and she started to throw up?”

The families around us put down their utensils and stared menacingly at us.

“What if I didn’t see them throw up in my plate and I ate it?”

After this remark the room was strangely silent. When I had the courage to look up, I saw the restaurant was empty. My oldest daughter was holding a napkin to her mouth and I began searching my pockets for the car keys.

“Where everybody go?” asked the baby.

For quite a time after that, when out to dinner with my children, curious strangers would ask about the bag over my daughter’s head.

I told them she’s just going through a stage.

 

Noreen Braman

 “Creativity On Call”

American Institute of Graphic Artists (AIGA)

Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH)

Certified Laughter Yoga Leader

Noreen’s Digital Dreams

Living on the Smile Side of Life in Jamesburg, New Jersey

 

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Copyright Ark Stories 2011

Mom: A Lesson in Character By Darla Arni

My mother is dying. Not a great thing to bring up in conversation or share at a party but it is the truth. It affects everything I think and feel and do. It makes me angry, sad, emotional and vulnerable. It makes me yell at dogs, slam doors, avoid people and cry at the slightest offense. She has been suffering from severe dementia for at least eight years. It is hard to pinpoint when it started because the changes are so gradual. I was not prepared and had no idea dementia could sneak into our lives like fog slipping in from the sea. There was no dramatic change, just the kind that makes you question yourself, reality and other people’s judgment.

For the last six years my mother has had no idea who I am. Basically, I am just a nice person that comes around. She never gets upset or fights me when I try to help her; she just has no clue that I am her daughter. Keeping on keeping up is exhausting but I want to do a good job at being a good daughter. I love her and feel a sense of history passing that I want to preserve and hold on to.

 
No one is ever ready to be parentless or become a parent to their parent. But it can be necessary and you find out that you are both stronger and weaker than you ever imagined. One day you are totally in control and the next you are a child mourning her mother who is fading before your eyes like a rare, precious photograph that cannot be restored. The biggest surprise has been the growth and expansion of love and wisdom that results from being thrown into the position of handler.

 
This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and in a way it seems to be a test you are always preparing for yet never ready to take. It is a lesson in character, fortitude, love, purpose, thoughtfulness and I have no effect on the outcome. In helping her, I help myself; in preparing her, I prepare myself; in loving her, I learn to love myself. Even while she is fading she is teaching me.

 
Since she lives in a nursing home in my town, it is easy for me to pop in and out. While she is unable to engage in conversation, she does sometimes chatter but most of the time she is in such a deep sleep I have a hard time waking her so I can see her eyes and say hello. That’s how she was recently when I stopped by with my husband and daughter. I tried and tried to wake her. I repeatedly told her who I was and carried on both sides of the conversation in an attempt to woo her away from the other world she exists in now. As I was preparing to leave I knelt down close, told her who I was, gave her a hug and kiddingly said, “I love you Mom, do you know how much I really really love you?” something I have done countless times before. But this time, with eyes still closed, she raised her hand to my cheek and clear as a bell so she could be heard clear across the room said, “I know.” And with that she continued to give and teach me how to be a Mom.

 

Story Copyright 2011 Darla Arni

 www.DarlaArni.com

http://fullplatenofork.wordpress.com/

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My Mom by Ann Werner

 

 

 

Mom pictured: Mary Werner (1914-2007) with great grandson Hugo.

My mother was a first generation American, her parents having come to this country early in the twentieth century from Lithuania. They were dirt poor and what little they had was wiped out in the Great Depression.

 My mother, her brother and my grandparents lived in a two-room apartment in downtown Baltimore. Neither of my grandparents spoke English. My grandmother was illiterate and signed her name with an X. I don’t know about my grandfather. I never met him, as he died before I was born. With all of those disadvantages, there was no time for schooling. My mother had an eighth grade education. My uncle was sent off to the Jesuits after eighth grade and was educated to become a Jesuit Brother.
 
Although my mother wasn’t educated, she was an intelligent woman. She was also kind and always ready to help. I remember an Easter Sunday when my friend Donna walked over to meet me so we could walk to church together. She lived several blocks away and somehow, on the way over, her brand new Easter coat got caught on something and the pocket ripped away from the coat. Donna was hysterical, fearing her mother’s reaction. My mother took the situation firmly in hand. Before meeting my father, she had worked in a tailor’s shop—and there’s a funny story associated with that but I’ll save it for another time—so she knew just what to do. She got her sewing kit and found thread to match the beige coat and in no time flat, she repaired Donna’s coat perfectly. It was small but that was my mother. She did small things that made a big impact.
 
She and I didn’t always see eye to eye. What mother and daughter do? But I always knew I could go to her and she would tell me the truth. When I decided to leave Maryland and strike out for California and my ex-husband threw a fit and was angry that I would be taking our daughter across country with me, I went to her and asked if what I was planning was a mistake. My mother, who had no pioneering spirit whatsoever, looked me straight in the eye and said, “Ann, if you don’t go, you’ll always wonder what could have been. If you don’t like it, you can always come back.” Words of wisdom from a woman who would never have left her hometown but knew who I was and what I needed.
 
My mother passed away in 2007 and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her and remember what a wonderful mom she was and in so many ways, continues to be.
 
I miss her very much and I guess I always will.
 

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