The plants had been delivered earlier in the week; I spent time arranging and rearranging them until everything was just right.
Wearing my favorite new tank top, I spent the early hours of the day covering myself with soil and sweat. I dug and I upgraded the irrigation and I set loosened root balls in holes twice as wide as themselves.
I found irrigation tubing hidden in the holes I was digging. It was only that water which made it possible for me to dig holes in the caking-up-because-it's-almost-summertime ground which passes for a planting medium in Tucson. They'd softened the soil enough so that, even in my weakened state, I was able to dig. It wasn't easy, but I got it done.
There are times when I miss Marin... for its dirt.
I didn't spend too much time wallowing in self-pity, though. I was having too much fun. For the umpteenth year in a row, I was spending Mothers Day up to my elbows in gardening.
I put my phone in my bra and, in bending over, boob-dialed Big Cuter. He was pleasantly surprised to hear from me, albeit inadvertently. He was busy, "but when your mom calls you on Mother's Day, you answer the phone!"
I knew I raised him right.
For him, it was Mother's Day. He's not a parent; there's no mother-of-his-child requiring his attention. His grandmothers are all dead. He has one mother and that's where his thoughts go on this day. His own, personal mother.
I like to think of all the great mothers I know; for me, it's the plural that resonates.
Mothers do it all, unheralded and uncompensated in a manner recognized by the workplace.
I can warm my heart by thinking of the women who have given up all-expense paid trips to Italy and Disney Land so they could tend to ailing children.
The joy of a mainstream classroom placement, after five years of kid-and-mommy-therapy, is announced with pride in the child's achievement, with no mention of the toll it's taken on her.... because it wasn't a problem, it's just what a mother does when her kid needs her.
I bask in the joy of a dance performance, a basketball game, an art project. I watch the kids at Prince bring their moms to meet me, proud to share a friendship. The love goes both ways - Look what I can do! Look what you can do!
It's as much fun to watch as it is to be a part of it myself. Mothers are very special people.
But, does the day belong to each and every one of them? Is it Mothers or Mothers' or Mother's Day? Were G'ma still here, I know we'd be having a spirited conversation about that S and that apostrophe. *****
There are some parts of this day which are very sad. I was jealous of the women with their mothers having lunch at Feast, as Scarlet and I shared memories. She was teary, I managed to restrain myself, but, for each of us, there was another present at the table.
Hers was the first voice I heard, and mine the last one she heard. I'm going with the lovely symmetry of it all, rather than shedding a tear. I am going to smile, as I know she would want me to smile, because not smiling won't bring her back and that's exactly what she'd say to me were she on the swivel chair in the living room, watching the Cavs and Bulls with TBG.
Mothers are usually right..... and they are ever present.... even when they are gone or far away or only visible on Skype, pretending to be mothers themselves when I know for a fact that she is just my Little Cuter.
Still, there is visual evidence for her change in status.
and this says it all.