Mom gave me the users guide

My mother Faleupolu F Utai-Matua
My mother Faleupolu F Utai-Matua. Love and miss you mom!

Because I have five sons it is almost a given that our house, our associations, our lives are awash with kids. There are all kinds of kids and I openly admit (because everyone who knows me well will call me on this if I say otherwise) that I’ve not always been fond of kids. Funny huh? And it’s not that I didn’t really like kids (because with five sons I obviously liked making kids), but I just didn’t really relate to kids…tiny ones.

When No. 1 was born it was a novelty.

When No. 2 was born I was ready to leap from a tall building to my death.

When No. 3 was born I wondered why the hell I had three kids.

When No. 4 was born I knew he was born for a reason.

And finally when No. 5 was born it didn’t matter what I wanted because Super Mom’s life was complete.

Holding a tiny baby in your arms is by far one of the most incredible acts that a human being can ever experience. You see that baby and you wonder what that tiny life will experience on earth. You are literally on a different, surreal plane. It is absolutely life changing.

But then, they poop. They pee. Then they cry…no actually they scream. And they do all of these things in rapid fire succession, sometimes simultaneously. And you’re frantically running around trying to make sense of all the chaos while trying to support a family and fulfill your responsibilities without going crazy and having your picture appear on the evening news because you’ve done something terrible that involves police and the Department of Child and Family Services.

And when you finally get to a point when you’re starting to comprehend this whole parenting thing, they start to crawl. Then they start to walk and talk. And to make matters worse, they walk over and talk to more kids like them. Then they bring them home and suddenly, you DO want to end up on the evening news after making a suicide pact with your dog!

Now that my sons are older and we’re having meaningful conversations about the things they encounter in life I think I’m finally starting to hit my stride with this parenting thing. Now that we don’t have to worry about the important questions like “Did you poop?” or “How am I going to get all this macaroni and cheese out of all your cracks and crevices?” I can finally talk to them about less messy things like girls, dating, AP classes and sports.

Mother’s Day is always an emotional day in my family because we lost our mother in 1993. She was the rock of our family and our compass. Whenever we had troubles we knew that we could count on mom for answers, support and often a warm hug and a gentle kiss to tell us that things would be okay.

I wonder if she would be proud of me and my siblings today. I wonder what wonderful things she would have done with her grandkids. I know that she would have been the best grandmother a kid could ask for. Only because I know that she was the best mother a kid could ever have.

So when I’m struggling to understand why No. 5 missed a catch, No. 4 didn’t finish his science labs, No. 3 didn’t take out the trash, No. 4 forgot to brush his teeth or No. 5 is whining like a child actor, I think of mom and wonder what she would have done in my shoes. And I know after taking a breath, swallowing my pride and taking a moment to think, that everything will be okay because mom raised me and that was a lot more trouble and ten times more work than what I’m going through today!

I love you mom!

2 thoughts on “Mom gave me the users guide

  1. Today was an extremely emotional for me. I’m coming up on my second Mother’s Day without my mom, which is also my second Mother’s Day as a mom myself. I didn’t expect it to be an issue, so I was bowled over by how hard it all hit me . . . and how very many tears I shed.

    I figured I’d write a blog entry for Sunday, and that it would help me find equilibrium. It did, although I was so tired from everything preceding I still haven’t fully recuperated. I’m sure it will be better after a good night’s sleep! Seeing this post has certainly set me on the right road.

    Thank you for the inspiration!

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