Mother Quotes in Urdu/ Maa di Shan
Mother's Day Essays: The Wisdom Years
My Mother's Tattoo
by Jancee Dunn
Two years ago, as my family gathered around the Thanksgiving table, my retired mother calmly announced that she was getting a tattoo. Twelve forks paused in midair:Did we hear her correctly?
My two sisters and I (all tattoo-free) were bewildered. My mom, a former Southern beauty queen who was well north of 60, was about the least likely candidate you could imagine. She was a member of the garden club in her New Jersey town. At the time of her announcement, she was wearing a pink cable-knit sweater with a radish pin affixed to her chest. She's always been polished, well-groomed and slightly formal—the sort of person who took pride in good manners. She always had us dress nicely before taking a plane trip, "to get better service." We were in economy class—what special extras could we get? More pretzels?
As my mother dug into her chocolate pie that Thanksgiving, clearly pleased with the uproar she was causing, we barraged her with questions. My father, who had gotten the news earlier, was the only person to stay silent. His pained expression indicated that he was against the whole idea.
With good-humored patience, my mother answered us. Yes, she had made up her mind. Yes, she knew that it was permanent. She was getting the tattoo on her wrist: a raven. "I've always liked ravens," she said with a shrug. "I don't know why."
"But why now?" my sister Dinah asked. "Is this some sort of midlife crisis?"
My mother laughed. "I've passed midlife," she said. "I just want some art on my body. It's like having your own personal painting. It'll make me happy to look down and see it." Given that my mom is an artist who loves painting, sculpting and photography, it made sense. But we all tried to talk her out of it anyway, stunned at how blithely she had made such a big decision.
When I saw that she refused to budge, I found a reputable tattoo artist and off we went to get my retired mother inked. And I had to admit, the finished tattoo was sort of pretty—delicate, even.
My mother hasn't regretted her decision for a minute. For her, the tattoo is a daily reminder to take chances in life, no matter what your age. As ladylike as she is, she's always had a subversive streak. And she's horrified by the thought of being boring. My mom always wants to be the most interesting person at the dinner party—and having gotten a tattoo at her age certainly helps.
When I was in my 20s, I thought that people grew narrow as they aged. But my mother has taught me an unexpected lesson about what it means to get older. She has become wonderfully open, not just to getting a tattoo—something she admits she would have been shocked to even contemplate 10 years ago—but also to different ideas, religions, philosophies.
By getting tattooed, she's also shown me the blissful freedom of not caring what anyone else thinks. When people quiz her about the raven, she doesn't try to justify her decision to get it. That would come across as self-doubt. Instead, she simply says, "I like ravens." Now I find myself following her example. The other day, a friend raised her eyebrows about the leopard-print sweater I was wearing. "Why'd you buy that?" she asked. "It makes me happy," I said. End of story.
Ever since my mom got inked, I've noticed, too, that I'm more flexible with my 2-year-old daughter. I barely flinched when she recently came home from music class and showed me the temporary tattoo of a guitar on her hand. "Just like Gran's!" she said. My smile wobbled only a little as I pictured her, years on, getting a real one and arguing, "But Grandma has one! Why can't I?" Is it my favorite image? No. But I'm trying to allow my daughter to be herself—another lesson from Mom.
I still do a double take sometimes when my mother passes me a plate and that raven pops out of her cable-knit sleeve, but I'm truly glad that she did it. Although recently she told me that she was thinking of getting another one. "Maybe on my ankle," she said. Silence. "Did you hear me?"
"No," I said.
Jancee Dunn is the author of three books, including her most recent, Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo? And Other Questions I Wish I Never Had to Ask. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
The Mom with the Silver Hair
by Pam Herbert Barger
It's 8 a.m. and I'm in my kitchen yawning and spreading peanut butter on toast as my 10-year-old son gets ready for school. When the shower stops running, I'll make sure to check his towel for moisture—he's been known to trade bathing for sitting on top of the closed toilet seat with a good book.
Frankly, I thought that by now, my mornings would be a lot slower. Maybe I'd sleep late, then sip gourmet coffee as I wrote in my journal. I thought I'd be closing in on some of the dreams I've spent a lifetime chasing, like going on a camping trip with my husband, Randy. I sigh as illusion fades to reality. No quiet time. No vacation. Instead…toast, homework, keeping one eye on the clock.
Randy and I have never questioned our decision to reenter parenthood for the well-being of our beloved grandson Jackson, the dimpled character we've been close to since birth. Given our daughter's devastating descent into mental illness, it was no surprise when, days after Jackson's first birthday, Social Services called. It was time for us to take him in for good. I was 46, Randy 49.
For a while after Jackson was born, we'd hoped that our daughter would accept medication and reemerge as the brilliant, loving person we'd known. But she didn't, and a toddler can't share a floor with filthy diapers and overflowing ashtrays, or live with a mother who would sneak off to California to find the famous bass player she believed called her to him through the radio. Her eventual diagnosis: schizoaffective disorder.
The day we legally adopted Jackson was bittersweet. Nothing had really changed from the day before, but it seemed that ensuring his safety meant we could no longer try to save our daughter. She is still part of our lives, but the relationship is, of necessity, a careful, somewhat distant one.
Adopting Jackson also meant an abrupt end to the life I was just beginning. I knew that doing right by him would bring satisfaction of the most profound kind, but it pained me to wave goodbye to more free time. How could life snatch away my empty nest just as it was finally coming into view?
So while others my age meet for spur-of-the-moment walks, I find myself cheering for Jackson as he rounds first base, or straining to see over (gray-free) heads at the fifth-grade band concert. Last week, waiting for Jackson's concert to begin, I reminisced about the first time I'd heard fledgling musicians play, years ago. The band teacher trying to get somebody, anybody, onto the beat—it was all Randy and I could do to keep from laughing. And here I was again.
Just then a wave of "Shh!" passed through the lunchroom, and 26 children filed onstage. Jackson's shirt needed a fresh tucking-in and his glasses were slightly askew, but he was as adorable as a prepubescent boy can be. When he spotted me, he tossed me a tiny wave. Then he lifted his saxophone. And that's when I congratulated myself for remembering a handkerchief.
Sitting there among parents two decades younger than me, I felt hopeful about the future—even though Randy isn't keen on playing video games "like Gavin's dad," as Jackson likes to remind him. Even though I sometimes fall asleep before my son. And even though we probably won't be around long enough to be real grandparents to Jackson's children.
As I looked at my son's sweet face, my dreams of quiet mornings and vacations suddenly seemed inconsequential. Most grandparents sigh that their far-flung grandkids barely know them. But I know Jackson intimately—and that's a gift that, more and more, I'm learning to treasure.
Pam Herbert Barger is a poet, writer and musician who also gives private piano lessons. She lives with her family in Lincoln, Nebraska.
by Lauren Kessler
The doorbell rings. Standing on the porch, studying his shoes as if he were going to be tested on them, is my daughter's boyfriend. Her first boyfriend. My daughter is 13. The boy, also an eighth-grader, has come to give her a present.
Their texting-in-class-under-the-desk relationship is a month old— which is to sayancientin the world of middle school romances. "I'm in love," she told me the other day. Then, quickly catching herself, she added, "You wouldn't understand."
Of course I would understand. I was once 13 and in love. I grabbed her hand and began telling her about my first boyfriend. I wanted her to know that I was not clueless—in fact, just the opposite. But I became so involved in telling my story that I missed the exact moment her eyes began to glaze over. She pulled her hand away, sighing. This I couldn't miss. She had stopped listening.
I'd come face-to-face with one of the many lessons that mothering a teen is in the process of teaching me: It's OK to remember, but it is not OK to reminisce. At length. As fascinating as I might think my life was, my daughter, I have to keep reminding myself, is in the midst of her own life—and not particularly interested in my decades-old recollections. Yet that shouldn't stop me from remembering, because remembering helps me understand her.
Outside, on the porch, the boyfriend hands her a small box. She blushes when she opens it. Inside is a little locket. She scoops up her hair, and I fasten the clasp at the back of her neck.
Two days later, she's still wearing it when he breaks up with her on the phone. I listen to the long silences, to the little catch in her voice when she says, "Fine…if that's the way you want it."
My heart is breaking. I wish I could spare her all the hurt and disappointment—the little ones she'll soon forget and the big ones she'll always remember.
I knock on my daughter's door. She yells at me to go away, just as I yelled at my mother when my boyfriend broke up with me. With great effort, I restrain myself from barging in anyway. But an hour later, when she still hasn't emerged, I knock again, entering before she has time to warn me off. Her eyes are red, her face swollen from crying. She allows me to sit on the bed next to her.
"You know," I say softly, "boys are less mature than girls." She sniffles. "I'm glad you had a boyfriend. But you don't need one, sweetie. You are a whole person all by yourself."
The sniffle turns into a snort. She gives me one of those patented teengirlget out of my lifelooks. And here I am, again, face-to-face with another of those lessons I apparently need to keep learning: Every moment is not a teaching moment. At this moment, for example, I should be listening and consoling, not launching into a lecture on self-esteem.
"Sorry," I say. She sighs, and her look softens a bit. We sit in silence for a long moment. I'm hoping that she will want to talk about this later, on her own terms. I need to allow her that opportunity, which means I need to butt out. This is perhaps the hardest part of mothering: letting your child make her own way, fall, pick herself up and keep going.
Two days after the breakup, at the dinner table, my daughter looks up from her plate and shakes her head. "Ya know what?" she says suddenly. "I didn't realize what a jerk that guy was." My husband and I know what guy she's talking about. I nod and, with herculean effort, keep my mouth shut. "I mean, it hurt a lot until I realized what a jerk he was." I nod again and offer a tentative smile. She goes back to her spaghetti. Then, a moment later, she grins at me.
Video: Ronan Farrow: How my mom inspired me to think beyond myself
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Vaccinations: Your Cheat Sheet
Prince William and Prince Harry choose sculptor to commemorate Princess Diana
Smoking Wreaks Genetic Havoc on Lungs
Janet Street-Porter Calls Nadia Sawalha Selfish’ Over Will Confession
If The iPhone 5 Really Looks Like This, Apple May Be Screwed
The Best Jeans for Men: 20 Pairs of Denim for the 5 Major Body Types
This Detoxifying Elemis Product Sells 1 Every 2 Minutes
Emmys 2012: Get Claire Danes’ Winning BeautyLook
Smart (and Cheap) Ways to Store More in Your Bedroom
How to Save a Lot of Money As a Kid, on Your Own, Without Using a Bank Account