Monday, May 21, 2007

A Mother's Day to Remember

A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. ~Tenneva Jordan

A quick, belated (very belated) look at Mother's Day....

I found this to be a very wonderful, very humbling, very moving, and most of all very promising Mother's Day--this first Mother's Day with a real "brood", and pretty much my first Mother's Day without my own mother. There have been other Mother's Days for me, of course, but none where I had to break up multiple squabbles, tie a myriad of shoelaces, clean up unending spills and spatters--and open multiple, precious, handmade cards and gifts. There was the dishtowel, with Margarita's painted hand-print and name indelibly written, the beaded keychain, strung and tied by Zachary, and the flowerpot painted by Sam and planted with a very wilty verbena. And the cards--so cute, so funny, so touching. I remembered back to about a year ago, just after my own Mother passed away, I was helping my Dad at his house, cleaning out drawers and boxes and cabinets. I came across a small stash of old Mother's Day cards, hand-made by me and my sister at maybe these same ages--the same shaky handwriting and big hearts and XOXOXO's as I got this year....

After Mass, we all went out to brunch with our great friend Don at one of my favorite family restaurants, the Red Sails Inn, on Shelter Island. It was too crowded to sit out on the patio among the boats at the marina, but the kids loved the ship paraphanelia inside, especially the ancient deep-sea diver suit with the huge helmet and massive arms and legs--a "robot", Zachary supposed. We ate a fine breakfast of eggs and toast and bacon and pancakes. This was our first family outing at a sit-down restaurant, and I must say it went quite well. The kids (including Zachary) have a little trouble understanding and/or remembering that we use our quiet voices in a restaurant, so we probably frightened our neighboring tables a few times. But most people around us heard the Russian voices and eventually wanted to know our story, and ended up being very kind and understanding and friendly.

After brunch we went further down the island, where a park snakes along the shoreline. The kids played for almost two hours on the playground and in the grassy areas, while the adults sat and talked and looked out over San Diego Bay and the city skyline. Again, it was pretty much the first outing with all three kids, in a wide open area unfamiliar to them and with lots of places to hide or escape to. But, not surprisingly, nobody bolted, nobody threw a tantrum, everybody repsonded to commands not to wander too far, etc.--things we didn't take for granted a month ago. Suddenly, things were starting to feel right--to feel promising. We were gelling as a family.... Later that day we filled the inflatable pool in the backyard, and, cool as it still was in San Diego, the kids thought it was fabulous playing around in the very cold water. They didn't stay in long, I noticed, but it was just the principle of being able to go swimming in your own back yard.

All in all, a wonderful day, and a day that felt, for the first time since we returned with the kids, like we were going to be a normal family someday.... I'm not sure what my own Mother would have said about all of this--she didn't live to meet the children or even know much about our plans to adopt again. She might have said we were nuts to go through the adoption madness again, or she might have said, whatever is supposed to happen will happen. Regardless of what she would have said, she would have adored these little kids.... (Happy Mother's Day, Mom--I miss you.)

Love to all.


Jackie said...

Happy Belated Mother's Day, Debbie!! It sounds like you enjoyed a perfect day and the kids look so happy. I'm glad to hear things are settling in nicely for you and your family.

Mala said...

YAY!!! Thanks for the update. I stalk your blog waiting for more news! Congrats on your beautiful family.

imtina said...

SO great to see all the pictures!
Hope to see you at the picnic!

Madeline Petersen & Tim Avery said...

Hi Debbie,
I'm so happy to see you somehow found time to update the blog. What challenges you have! Your pictures and Mother's Day story are fantastic.
We think of you every day up here and San Francisco and talk about all that we think you are managing. You are too kind to share some of your life on the bog with us.
Love from Tim and Madeline