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Archive for Sunday, May 10, 2009

Boomer Girl Diary: Mothers: They never play to type

May 10, 2009

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There are many kinds of mothers. Married mothers, single mothers. Mothers of two, mothers of five — heck, there’s even the “Octomom,” mother of 14.

There are young mothers, old mothers, working and stay-at-home mothers. Monogamous and polygamous mothers. Mothers against drunk drivers. Mothers for peace, clean air, breast-feeding and natural law. There are mothers with tattoos, mothers with big hair, bald mothers, Botoxed mothers, French-tipped, collagen-filled and unnaturally tan mothers.

Don’t forget stepmothers, surrogate mothers, birth and adoptive mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, mothers-in-law and mothers-to-be.

We’ve got soccer mothers, stage mothers, little league and swim team mothers. There are mothers of all shapes and sizes, races, colors and creeds, yet we all share certain distinctive behaviors, common to our species that bond us together — behaviors that are alternately thoughtful, quirky, obsessive-compulsive, superhuman, heroic and, sometimes, just plain insane.

To wit …

Who else but a mother would declare, “You were the best one in the play,” even though the kid forgot seven lines and fell into the orchestra pit?

Who else but a mother would stay up until 3 a.m. on Oct. 30 sewing a Halloween costume after her third grader’s last-minute decision to go as Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat?

Who else but a mother would smile and pretend everything is perfectly normal, even though her child is standing stark naked in the middle of her dinner party?

Who else but a mother would sleep on a preschooler’s hard bedroom floor all night to keep the monsters from crawling under the bed?

Who else but a mother would know, without having to ask, that her child is guilty of that unfortunate mishap with the next-door neighbors’ cat?

Who else but a mother would cry uncontrollably all the way home after dropping a kid off at day camp?

Who else but a mother would run to the grocery store three times in the same afternoon to re-supply a successful front-yard lemonade stand?

Who else but a mother would defend her “class clown” son at a parent-teacher conference, claiming, “He just needs more intellectual stimulation”?

Who else but a mother would bolt through the doors of Target like an NFL running back to get her hands on the latest video game coveted by every ninth grader in town?

Who else but a mother would venture out to the video store in a blizzard to rent a copy of “To Kill a Mockingbird” because somebody didn’t get the book read in time for the English test?

Who else but a mother could accurately determine, within two-tenths of a degree, the temperature of a feverish child, simply by feeling her cheek?

Who else but a mother would get teary eyed as her firstborn leaves home for her first college visit?

Who else but a mother would take secret delight in planning the slow and untimely death of the school bully who is making life miserable for her precious baby?

Who else but a mother would fib to the principal, saying her child was sick when in truth she was just suffering from post-traumatic first-day-with-braces syndrome?

Who else but a mother would claim a vast sixth-grade conspiracy and demand a recount when her little one fails to get elected class president?

Who else but a mother would bolt, without hesitation, into oncoming traffic to rescue a favorite toy dropped from an open car window?

Who else but a mother would cheer at the top of her lungs as her little track star crosses the finish line dead last?

Happy Mother’s Day, my fellow crazies. Put your feet up and get some rest. You must be exhausted.

— Cathy Hamilton is a 53-year-old empty nester, wife, mother and author, who blogs every day at BoomerGirl.com.

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