Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread: Mom’s The Word

I’ve had lots of great experiences as a new mother, but one of the better ones has been getting to see my own mother become a grandma. Sadly, we live far apart (my parents live in Germany) and don’t get to see each other very often, but we keep in touch through emails, phone calls, and occasional Skype sessions. I also send my parents tons of videos and pictures to keep them up-to-date on all of Jackson’s new tricks.

The photo above was taken the moment my mom and my baby met each other for the first time. It was a few days before Christmas — the first night of Hannukah — and my parents had just arrived to New York after a grueling 20-hour commute from their home in Germany (including a long delay). It was late and they were tired, especially my mom who was still recovering from knee replacement surgery a few weeks earlier, but they didn’t want to wait any longer to meet their first grandbaby. So they dropped off their bags at the motel, took a cab to our place, walked up the three flights of stairs to our apartment, and finally got to hold Jack in their arms.

This will be my first Mother’s Day with a child of my own and even now, after only seven months, I have so much more appreciation for the sacrifices my own mom made to raise me and my sister. She put her teaching career on hold and stayed home with us until we started school. She threw the best birthday parties, and took cake-decorating classes so she could make us amazing cakes every year. She encouraged me at a very young age to write. I’d come home from school and tell her all the stories of my day and she’d say, “Write it down, Wendy, write it down!” She read to me every day. One of my favorite childhood memories was the year she read the whole Little House on the Prairie series to me.

I don’t know what my mom’s dreams for me were (other than me becoming a writer one day). I don’t know whether I’ve turned out like she hoped or if I’m something different altogether. I do know she likes this site and that she’s been one of my biggest supporters since day one. Not only does she read the site every day, she’s my unofficial copy editor, too. (She’s not always able to edit columns before I post them, so don’t blame her if there’s an error before she has a chance to correct it!). She reads the site so much, she talks about some of you commenters by name. She knows your stories. She roots for you. She notices when a regular hasn’t been around in a while and worries.

This Mother’s Day — my first since becoming a mom myself — I honor my own my mom and the love and support she continues to provide. I honor my mother-in-law whom I never got to meet. She passed away when Drew was young and I know she would be so proud to see the kind of men and fathers her sons grew up to be. And I honor those of you who are also missing your moms this weekend.

If you want, please share some of your favorite memories of the women who raised you, what you love about being a mom, and what your plans are this Mother’s Day.

33 comments… add one
  • avatar

    lets_be_honest May 11, 2012, 3:07 pm

    Your mom sounds wonderful. So cool that she reads the site a lot, just assumed only your dad would check it sometimes. Happy first mother’s day to you, Wendy.

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    Addie Pray May 11, 2012, 3:25 pm

    Oh lovely! Wendy’s Mom, happy mother’s day to you! And I’m now really embarrassed about some of the silly, raunchy, unprofessional, goofy, and what-have-you things that I’ve been tricked into saying here. …

    Happy mother’s day to you, Wendy. And to you, let’s be honest. And to you, Regina! (Scarlet counts.)

    And happy mother’s day to my mama. There are many things that make her amazing, but the fact that she had 4 kids in 2.5 years, in a foreign country where she was still learning the language, and she survived to talk about it, is pretty damn amazing. On Sunday, I’m going to try really hard not to forget it’s Mother’s Day.

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      lets_be_honest May 11, 2012, 3:31 pm

      Aw, thanks Addie. I will be visiting all my “moms” Sunday. Mine, my stepmom, my two grandmothers and my SO’s mom. Oh, and my girlfriend who is celebrating her first mother’s day. I’m just now realizing I should’ve just invited them all over. Bloodbath between mom and stepmom would’ve provided for an interesting day. I can’t wait to see what my daughter made me. Her gifts/cards are always so lovely.

      I’ll say one thing about my mom, she is the only person I’ve ever known who is the true definition of selfless. She got an early present with my sister getting into medical school, so that was really nice for her. I’ll never be half as wonderful as a mother as she was, but I’m trying.

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    kerrycontrary May 11, 2012, 3:27 pm

    For some reason I always imagine that the first mother’s day as a mom must be so special and memoriable. Maybe mothers out there think that every Mother’s day is special, but I can imagine myself in the future getting really excited about my first one. Happy mother’s day, Wendy! I’m glad that you share your experiences of motherhood with us.

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      lets_be_honest May 11, 2012, 3:33 pm

      It is quite special. I didn’t have any guy around to make breakfast or anything like that, but my brother (ugh, knew this thread would get me teary) showed up at my place with a huge bouquet of flowers, a card that sits on my desk to this day, and made me breakfast in bed that I ate while he took the baby for a walk. I really love my family.

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    rachel May 11, 2012, 3:31 pm

    Aw, this made me tear up a little. Happy Mother’s Day to you Wendy, and to all of you other wonderful DW mothers!

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    • Roxy_84

      Roxy_84 May 11, 2012, 4:11 pm

      I almost cried! Wendy your mom sounds amazing! Happy mother’s day to both of you! And to all the other moms on here! (yeah, that’s a little overzealous on exclamation points but I’m leaving it haha)

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    bethany May 11, 2012, 3:37 pm

    My mom is a wonderful mother. She’s exactly what you’d want a mom to be. Some of my favorite memories of her are basically of her just being there for me and for my friends.

    She was the one people would call if they needed something- A neighbor forgot a school project at home once… She didnt’ call her mom, she called MY mom. And of course my mom went over to her house, got it and brought it to school. I lived within walking distance of school, and a bunch of us all walked together. When it snowed and we got out early, my mom walked to school with big bags of hats, gloves and scarfs, enough for all the nieghborhood kids, and walked us all home. She was the one who made grilled cheese sandwiches for all the neighborhood kids in the summer and who you could always count on for a ride to the movies. She did all those things because she wanted to, not because she had to.

    I can honestly say that my mom has NEVER let me down. I’ve never been disappointed in her, and I’ve never doubted any decision she’s made. She’s mature beyond belief, she’s responsible, she’s loving and she’s hads down the most amazing woman I know, and I tell her I love her every chance I get.

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    LolaBeans May 11, 2012, 3:37 pm

    Happy Mother’s Day Wendy and Wendy’s mom!!

    Hope you both have a wonderful day on Sunday!

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  • Kristina

    Kristina May 11, 2012, 3:45 pm

    I can only imagine how special your first Mother’s Day must be. Congrats to you Wendy! (and your mom)

    I have a somewhat awful mom myself, but I stopped getting so emotional about Mother’s Day over the past few years. My mom means well, but she is mentally ill, and it’s hard to separate her personalities. I sucked it up and sent her a card in the mail, but luckily, she’ll be out of the country still, so I won’t have to call her this time.

    I also sent a card and a small gift to my boyfriend’s mom, who is really great and I’m glad I get along with her so well. I sent a gift and card to my aunt. She doesn’t have children (but wanted to and tried, and it was very complicated and heartbreaking) so I was wary of sending her something this Mother’s Day. But she is the woman who raised me the most and taught me the most about life. We email back and forth every day, and I am sort of like the daughter she never had, so I always show my appreciation for having her in my life, and for always being there for me, no matter what. She never judged me through all the mistakes I used to make, so I consider myself lucky to have someone like her in my life. She certainly will never replace my mom, but she is definitely the most important person in my life.

    I cannot remember where this is from, but one of my favorite quotations is: “the most memorable people in your lives will be the ones who loved you when you weren’t very lovable”.

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      d2 May 13, 2012, 10:19 am

      I hadn’t heard that quote before, but I very much like it. It reminded me of a particular person who will always have a special place in my heart because she was kind to me when I didn’t deserve it.

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    LANY May 11, 2012, 3:54 pm

    Happy mother’s day, Wendy and Wendy’s mom! Have a fabulous weekend 🙂

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    Something More May 11, 2012, 3:55 pm

    Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom out there in DWland.

    My mom and I have had our ups and downs but at the the end of the day I love her and appreciate what she has been through in raising me to be the woman and mother I am today. Her no-nonsense (read: no-whining) methods are pretty much the sole reason my kids get the compliments in public they do. She sacrificed a lot for me as a single parent, joined the Navy and then found the best step-dad a little girl could ask for. She’s been there whether it was spelling bees or yelling at umps in softball, planning a wedding in three days while I was in the hospital and my then-fiance was flying home from bootcamp. She’s awesome. And seeing her with my daughters just makes me smile. A very Happy Mother’s Day to my Mama.

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    SweetPeaG May 11, 2012, 4:10 pm

    That was so nice! I particularly loved the part about Little House on the Prairie… my Mom also gave me a love for that series.

    Happy Mother’s Day to you both!

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    Kris May 11, 2012, 4:16 pm

    Mother’s Day makes me rather sad this year. My mom essentially canceled her day by purposefully going out of town when it wasn’t necessary. This is the first time she’s ever done this. We’ve been having an ongoing disagreement and I’m sad that the one day I thought we could put it aside and I could just show her I love her is not going to happen.

    On the positive side, I’m going up to see my awesome step-mom, who taught me to stand up for myself, always believes in me, and supports me no matter what. She managed to take on 3 snotty, upset, angry kids, become a true second mother to us and make us into the people we are today.

    Happy Mother’s day to all the awesome mother’s out there!

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      cporoski May 11, 2012, 4:40 pm

      It is funny you bring this up. My Mother in Law is fighting with my Sister in Law. So she doesn’t want mother’s day unless all kids are accounted for so she is cancelling. It is wierd.

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    jlyfsh May 11, 2012, 4:32 pm

    Happy First Mother’s Day, Wendy!! 🙂

    My Mom is the best and My Grandmother is too. This is the first Mother’s Day I haven’t spent with them in years. I sent them cards and my Mom is coming to visit in about a month and we’re going to celebrate then. I’m hoping to go home soon to meet my friend’s new baby and I will do something special for my Grandmother then. And of course I’ll be calling them both too!

    If you don’t do anything else don’t forget to call your Mom Sunday!! My Mom always says that’s better than any gift anyway, getting a call to remind you that someone is thinking of you and that they love you 🙂

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  • JK

    JK May 11, 2012, 5:00 pm

    Happy Mother´s Day to all the mums out there!!!
    Here Mother´s Day is in October, so still a few months to go.

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      lets_be_honest May 11, 2012, 5:03 pm

      Well, happy early mother’s day JK!

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      • JK

        JK May 11, 2012, 5:08 pm

        Aw, thanks!!! I hope you have a great day!

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      Addie Pray May 11, 2012, 6:31 pm

      Oops, I forgot to say Happy Mums Day to you!

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    • MandaNoA

      Mandanoa May 12, 2012, 3:12 am

      I’m not sure where you’re at JK but my girlfriend just recently married a man from London and I guess she bought his mom a Mother’s Day card but then had to write a message in it explaining that Mother’s Day is a different time of the year here in America. I thought that was kind of funny. Like I imagine it being like someone sending me a Christmas card in June.

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      • JK

        JK May 12, 2012, 9:39 am

        I´m in Argentina. It is a bit weird seeing all the Mother´s Day things now!

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    rangerchic May 11, 2012, 5:18 pm

    I don’t really remember much about my childhood – my mom had to work a lot and I am the oldest of four kids so I always kind of felt like she was spread thin. But, she was there for me when I really needed her. There was once, when I was a single mom in college, I had a huge group presentation to do and on the way to day care my daughter threw up all over the car. I couldn’t take her to daycare at that point so I called my mom – who had other plans that day- and she babysat her while I did my presentation. Those are the kind of things moms do for you and I am grateful to have the mom I do!

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  • FireStar

    FireStar May 11, 2012, 7:11 pm

    Happy Mother’s Day to all the DW moms! And Happy Mother’s Day to my wonderful mother – who sacrificed her own ambitions to give her children every opportunity in life. My mom baked three cakes every year for each birthday I had – one for the family, one for my party and one to take to school. She threw me a party every year and invited my entire class, my teacher and all of the neighbourhood kids. I still don’t know how she did it without losing her mind. We actually were poor growing up but I never felt it since she poured love and attention on us all the time. And while we couldn’t get everything that all the other kids had, I think what we got was infinitely better. I’ve been very disappointed by other family members in my life but my mother makes up for it in spades and I feel blessed to have her living with me now and to be able to spoil her a little when she lets me. The best I could wish for anyone is to have a mom like mine so I wish I will be as good a mom as she is when God decides to send her some grandchildren and I wish you all have someone in your lives that loves you like a good mom does. xoxo.

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie May 11, 2012, 6:14 pm

    Happy Mothers Day Wendy and all mothers herein. It must be wonderful to have a family. (sigh)

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  • MandaNoA

    Mandanoa May 12, 2012, 3:16 am

    My mom is the best mother anyone could ask for. She actually came to my house this evening (after working a 10 hour shift at the florist) and brought ME flowers! Considering I am only a mother to two chinchillas I was surprise. She told me to read the card which basically said that she wanted to celebrate me this year because I make her proud to be my mother. She’s a truly amazing lady and I only hope I can be half the mom she was when I have kids.

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      bethany May 12, 2012, 2:33 pm

      That’s so sweet!!

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    AnotherWendy May 12, 2012, 11:32 pm

    My very first Mother’s Day, 15 years ago, my daugher slept 5 hours through the night, a new record! I was so excited because I hadn’t been getting more than 3 hours since she had been born at the end of February. It was like her first Mother’s Day gift to me, to give me five blessed hours of sleep in a row!
    Being a mom isn’t easy. But it is has made my life so much richer. Now that she is 15, i don’t get the hugs and the cuddles from my daughter like I used to, but she thinks I’m ok to be seen with in public for limited periods of time, so that’s good enough for me! I am so proud of the young woman she is becoming, fiercely independent and a liberal too, I couldn’t ask for more! Even when she is rolling her eyes at me and saying things like “mom, you are not funny, really”, I love her more fiercely than I ever thought possible.
    My on-again off-again SO has a son and I have been in his life since he was five months old. Whatever happens between me and his dad, my love for that kid, and his for me, has never been in doubt. He is my son-by-another-mother, and since he’s only 7, he thinks I can do no wrong, and I love that kid like crazy.
    My mom is 2500 miles away from me and I miss her. She is 72 now and I can’t imagine a life without her. I was not a sweet loving daugher from about 12-18. I was prickily and diffacult but I have a very clear memory of me being a teen and telling her she didn’t understand me, and her saying to me she was trying so hard to understand me. That meant so much to me then, and I love that memory.
    Happy Mother’s Day to all the DW moms!

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  • AKchic_

    AKchic_ May 13, 2012, 2:55 am

    Aw crap… Wendy’s mom knows about me! *laugh* Surprisingly, parents liked me.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms (in all forms) out there. It’s still Saturday here in Anchorage, and I went out with my mom and grandma today for lunch. We ended up going back to my Grandma’s and going through a couple of old boxes of photos from the 60s and older, a box of her father’s coins (I found a couple of rare coins that I need to check the collectors rates on, plus some other “finds”), and school work from me from kindergarten through second grade. Not to mention my foster care paperwork, some jewelry my grandma was giving my mom (an ivory brooch my grandpa bought his mother when he was first stationed in Alaska) and my grandpa’s belt buckles (I brought two home today).

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    mcminnem May 13, 2012, 12:06 pm

    Here’s something I thought you might all appreciate 🙂

    Mr. T tells us to treat our mothers right.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U53XWlGK4hY

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    KarenWalker May 13, 2012, 9:49 pm

    Happy Mother’s Day Wendy!

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    MsMisery May 14, 2012, 1:33 pm

    I feel so honored that Wendy’s mom thinks of us as her e-kids! Thanks, Wendy’s Mom!!!

    I hope you and Wendy had a fabulous mother’s day.

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