Friday, November 5, 2010

Thanks Mom

There are few things in life that humble you quite like parenthood.  For those that don't know me very well, I wasn't what you'd call the parenting type.  I have no organization, a very short attention span, and have always liked to get up and go whenever I please.  Having Grace has by far, been the most grounding experience of my life. I find myself looking around, on the few occasions I actually leave the house, at women who have two or three kids hanging from their arms.  How do they do it? Although I'd like everyone to believe I am super woman and never have a frazzled day, I'll be honest - THIS IS HARD! Between juggling bottles, burps and diapers, I rarely find time to shower!  But there is a high point. Just when I think I could actually fall asleep standing, Grace smiles - and I'm ready to start again.

I am one of four children.  Two sisters and one brother.  We were always pretty close growing up, minus the intermittent hair pulling, biting and scratching.  My mother, a full time RN prior to (and now currently)  having children, spent seventeen long years at home - raising us.  She was always up before we were and awake hours after we were fast asleep. The next day, we'd rise with the sun and begin trashing the house and reeking havoc on our mother. Holidays were outstanding.  Each year, our mother would tell us that "this year, things are tight", and that we shouldn't expect a Christmas like last year.  Christmas morning, we would run down the stairs and be smothered with ridiculous amounts of gifts - most of which we certainly didn't deserve.  Our mom would spend hours shopping in packed stores, seeking the most popular and sometime outlandish gifts available.  I think it was sometimes in the late 90's that my mother actually when to the record store and asked a sales associate if they carried "Old Dirty Bastard"'s newest CD.  (I would give anything to have witnessed that conversation:)

It was actually during the last few hours of labor that I realized how special my mother truly is.  She was at my side for 27 hours, holding legs in the air, wiping my forehead and bringing me anything and everything I beckoned for. Although I was mostly focused on getting Grace the heck outta me, I now am able to look back and really reflect on everything.  

My mother spent seventeen years at home.  She listened to whiny kids fighting and crying constantly.  Each of us completely different from the next, my mom had my oldest sister, Kate, the smart Alec - who had a sarcastic comeback for everything.  Me, the ADD child from hell - who cried each and EVERY day she took me to school and made a mess of anything I could get my hands on.  Amanda, the sensitive bull - who for the first few years of life, had a stutter (which I am responsible for - another story, another time) and required some extra attention.  And finally, Mikey - the manly man - who like many boys was obsessed with anything relating to war, guns and fighting.  Mikey spent the first few years of his childhood removing anything that even slightly resembled a bullet, and adding it to his "ammo box". There was a time when all of the lamp switches in the house were in Mikey's pockets, as he was constantly preparing for battle. 

My mom didn't have it easy but somehow never gave up.  She was always by us, through thick and thin, through week long bouts of the stomach flu - passed from one kid to the next, through stitches, surgeries and fillings.  She was always front row at concerts, basketball games, and football games - holding the really annoying and super embarrassing video camera.  She never missed a beat.  And from the moment I came home to tell my mother I was pregnant, to the time they said "its a girl" - my mom was right there - front and center. 

I hope I can be as wonderful of a mother to Grace and my mother was to me. I hope Grace looks back someday and thinks of me as her hero - just as I think of my mom.  

Thanks Mom.  I love you.


  1. Rachel, this is beautifully written.

    I felt like I time traveld back to the days on the court and relived the Hogan Family exactly as I remeber every last detail!

  2. It was the best time of my life, and having you and your sisters and brother was the best thing I ever did, thanks Rachel....



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