Saturday, May 13, 2006

A Day for Mothers

Photo originally published in The Record, May 13, 2006 p. G1. by Matthew McCarthy, GRAND RIVER LIFE.

This is my neighbor Sharron and her six-week-old son, Isaac in front of the barbed wire that separates her property from my father's cattle-grazing field. She had wanted a baby of her own for years but just couldn't get pregnant and when she did, she had a miscarriage. By the age of 42 she thought she would never have kids, thinking it was now or never, but she didn't give up.

After my grandfather passed away two years ago, her and her husband Al moved into his place next door. They were hopeful that this time they would get lucky and they would have a child. They did! Isaac was born a healthy happy baby!

Funny for me to think that in this above picture, her and the new baby are captured in the place that my father's father would set out at 7am every morning at the age of 84 for the barn to meet him for their daily chores, like they had always worked together, father and son, in days gone past. Isaac will be growing up in the house that I would scamper about in as a toddler grandchild around the Christmas tree. The passing of the seasons and the new buds on all the trees remind me of the rejuvenation and possible reincarnation of existence itself. It's as if when one light goes out, somewhere else another always turns on. It's a nice thought.

Now that my neighbor has a new little man in her life, she can't believe the kind of love she has from being a mother: "It's a dream come true. You're in love (with a spouse) but you've never had this kind of in-love before." A new child changes the dynamics of a family.

Sometimes changes are a miracle, other times they come as a tragic surprise. Last year another part of her family was taken away. Her step-son was only seventeen, playing sports and most likely looking forward to life when he lost the fight against cancer. So this birth was a blessing at a time when other parts of her and her husband's life could have been very trying.

Being an older mom seems to increasingly be the norm in this country where financial and marital stability can take more time to get sorted out before the choice to have a child is affordable or practical. There can however be health risks associated with waiting until later to get pregnant. The biological clock is always ticking. Despite the worry, Sharron was fine. She may be better prepared in her patience and wisdom to properly nurture a child at the age she is. She seems to be having a heyday pushing little Isaac around in his buggy, showing her youthfulness in the form of enthusiasm for mothering.

So this Mother's Day Sharron and Al have something special to celebrate. It was also Trash's nephew's first birthday today. Yey! That kid loves to go for walks.* I suggest you take a moment to think of your moms on this day. Celebrate the selfless gift of life that our mothers gave to us!**

As for my own mother, she is getting older. I didn't really know what to get her! She will probably be hoping for a foot massage (one of her favorite things). Lately I've gotten out of the habit of doing it -I've gotten off easy, although I may be forced this time by moral imperative. My sisters and I all used to make up different excuses to pin the chore on each other when we were all watching a movie and my mother would ask "would you massage my feet?". "You do mom's feet!" We'd say. But considering all the diapers she's changed, all the lunches she's packed, all the hours spent playing, all the ohhing and awing and support she's given me over the years, putting up with her heavily calloused feet (she spends lots of time walking around in the garden) is probably a modest Mother's Day gift...uhmm, er, on second thought, maybe I'll just go with the card.


*Trash is not a mom but when she babysits she becomes momish.
*Mitzee, Chloe, Queen of Ass, Suburban Misfit and Vesper are cool moms. Did I forget anyone?



Blogger Chloe said...

happy mother's day to your mum! give her that foot massage and write her a nice card (my son did). And sing her a song, you do that so well. x

5:24 a.m.  
Blogger Maddy said...

i agree with Chloe, Barrett
sing her a song with your
soulful haunting voice.

Lovely post!

8:41 a.m.  
Blogger gina said...

what a nice post. I am glad she got her dream come true with precious isaac. thansk for the well wishes on my blog :)

4:07 p.m.  
Blogger toobusyliving said...

Great post but you forgot Madamerouge, he's pretty much a "mother hen"

11:52 a.m.  
Blogger Jason said...

My mom yelled at me when I was 8, cause my gift wasn't nice or expensive enough. It was a crystal bowl. She drove me back to the store to return it and get her something nicer.

Nice life lesson I got to learn.

12:42 p.m.  
Blogger exile said...


i'm sorry, what were we talking about?

1:43 p.m.  
Blogger Carrie said...

happy mothers day to your mother dear!

and thank you for the props!

i had a wonderful weekend with my kids....and i missed your calls...i actually heard this phone ringing but didn't get off my lazy arse to go and get it, i missed jimmys call too, but he tells me you are coming to toronto this weekend, so i guess i'll see you then! :)

8:29 a.m.  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

i have no idea why, but we had mothers day, or mothering sunday as it is called here, a couple of months ago. me, with my fish like memory and having seen how you guys were celebrating, forgot this and went home and told my kids not to forget to buy something for their mum.

10:16 a.m.  
Blogger Vesper said...

i just wanted to say that young moms are on the rise, too, and last year in the united states, over 40% of children were born to younger, single moms.

2:22 p.m.  
Blogger Darius said...

Your neighbor being in the same place where you spent so much time with your grandfather when you were little... that must be nice but poignant at the same time.

9:22 a.m.  
Blogger GEL said...

Touching and tender post, Sir B.
The loss of a child is one of the most difficult experiences in life, to put it very mildly. :( My heart goes out to your neighbor and her family.

That is a wonderful photo of her showing new life: her baby. Reading how you interspersed that with your own memories was very interesting. Happy Belated Mum's Day to your neighbor and to your own mum! BTW, this mom also loves foot massages so I chuckled over the sibling negotiations. :D

2:56 p.m.  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

Chloe -I'm glad your son gave you a card after I recieved your lovely post card.

maddy -I didn't sing a song for my mom per se, but I'm sure she heard the drums blasting through the ceiling of the basement while I was recording.

gina -Always a pleasure to have reciprocal visits.

toobusyliving -Shoot! You're right. I will think of him as a possible candidate as an egg donor if I marry an infertile.

jason -If my mother did that to me I probably wouldn't learn anything -I'd just give her a cracked bowl the next year.

exile -No, you're right on track. While what I was talking about was Mother's Day, I was really just thinking of milfs. Now do I need to set my word verification to screen telepathics?

mitzee -Yes, playing with energetic kids is definitely a job for lazy-arsed people. NOT!! I learned that this week baby-sitting where I was infinitely entertained.

cocaine jesus -Randomn thought: "it's OK to eat fish cause they don't have any feelings." If your memory is "fish like" maybe it's OK to eat that too!

vesper -Good point.

darius -Yes. Well described. It is something that makes me pensive.

silvermoon -Glad you could relate. Yes, I love the glow that pregnant mother's get and my neighbor seems very happy.

5:40 p.m.  
Anonymous Kimberly-KismetDreams said...

Yes you forgot me! I'm a mom of 4 children...son 6, son 4 and twins (son/daughter) 2 1/2. I need a foot massage too, only I hate ppl touching my feet with a passion. So, if you attempt it, wear protective gear.

12:05 a.m.  

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