A Mother’s Day Tribute
by Cindy G. Foust
I’ve got a story for my readers. Hang on, cause it’s TBT also known as “Throw Back Thursday.” When I write this month’s column…TBT, is of course, a common indulgence among social media enthusiasts. For those of you, like myself, that have to get their eight-year-old to show them how to use their phone or are still stuck in the rotary dial era, let me interpret TBT and explain that if you live in the social media world, and it’s a Thursday, you are supposed to “throw back” to a time and a place of special interest. That being said, I am “throwing back” to circa 1994, when my mom had to convince me, well, bribe me actually with a dress from Field’s, to go to my 10-year high school reunion. Yes, this writer had chosen to abstain from attending an event that I perceived to be equivalent to a root canal. I was convinced that if I went to this reunion, everyone there would be married and have children and at this particular juncture of my life, I had essentially sworn off the notion of ever getting married or having children. Oh, the reasons are too many to name, unless my friends at BayouLife will let me have the entire magazine to explain the marriage moratorium that I had placed on myself. But since my column has a word limit, let me just say that due to a series of unfortunate events in my early twenties, primarily the loss of my beloved sister, Angel, in a car accident, plus my inability to find “the one,” I had made the rather critical decision to just devote myself to…well, myself. Yes, it was going to just be me, myself and I, without a man and without children. And then my mom made me do it. She bought me a dress from Field’s, carefully selected by the late Morris Blumenthal, and sent me to my high school reunion. It was there that I would run into someone, whom I had quite commonly referred to as a “mow-ron” in high school. This “mow-ron” as it turns out, wasn’t really a “mow-ron” at all, in fact, he was just the opposite and with his sweet talking ways, he swept me off my feet and a little over a year later, we were married.
Now, here we are once again, at this BayouLife juncture with the question…how will this writer connect the proverbial dots again this month by starting with a “Throw Back Thursday,” blowing into a dress from Field’s and morphing into the story of my wedding, without boring my readers into a Rip Van Winkle stupor? Just give me a minute to connect these dots with my own admission that were it not for that dress from Field’s, that fateful 10-year class reunion and my husband’s determination to “stalk” me until I had lunch with him, I might never have realized that swearing off “motherhood” would have been a grave and unfortunate decision on my part. For you see, sometime, shortly after we said “I do,” something in me decided that perhaps “I might” want to have a child. I’m not sure how many of my readers are mothers, but I suspect the number is pretty high, and if you are sitting out there reading this calamity of a column, you know exactly what I mean when I say that you remember where you were when you realized that being a good mother is one of the single most important things you can do as a woman. Yes, contrary to my original thoughts on motherhood, the moment they handed me my little boy, nearly four years after my reunion, my entire universe turned inside out (I know that sounds very Lifetime the Channel for Women hokey, but it’s true, nevertheless.) Wait a minute…did someone just stop the clock? Suck the wind out of the room? In one minute there was you, and in the next minute there are two (Dr. Seuss lives). I think the question at this point, is it even possible to be adequately prepared for motherhood, or for the love that takes over every molecule in your body? The answer is “no.” Is it even possible to imagine what was important in your life prior to your baby? The answer is “no.” Is it even possible to imagine what your life would be like without this new life that has been gifted to you? The answer is “no.”
The one thing, however, that you can answer “yes” to, is that motherhood does change your life, irrevocably, and for the better. After you come out of your sleep deprived state of delirium, you are jolted with the knowledge that someone now depends on you, for everything they need to exist; that the me, myself and I mentality will no longer cut it; that there is now a set of eyes watching every move you make (even if they are peeking under the door while you are in the bathroom or when you honk at the little old lady driving 35 on the Interstate); and suddenly, just like that, you are responsible for making this new life feel as loved and as secure as you possibly can. With that realization, am I right that you also feel a new weight or responsibility that you never thought humanly possible? Did someone just sit a Buick on your chest? Even though this new responsibility does bring many anxious moments, many worrisome days and many sleepless nights…no matter the age of your child, the reality is that all of that is far surpassed by the overwhelming love you feel for this new life that you helped create. It is, without a doubt, one of the greatest gifts from our Creator, and despite the challenges, and in the absence of a parenting handbook when you leave the hospital, the single most rewarding and fulfilling relationship a mother can have. So it is on this “Throw Back Thursday,” and on the eve of Mother’s Day 2014, that I sit at my computer and give thanks for my three children, for the privilege of being their mother, and for the gift of motherhood, even if it took me a while to embrace it. And that, my readers, is how you turn a black dress with unfortunate linebacker shoulder pads into a Mother’s Day tribute. Stick with me…I have a few more tricks up my sleeve.