Sunday, May 9, 2010

Wire Monkeys and Cloth Monkeys

Me and my mom and baby sister, late 1959.

Cattycornered from my house is a small nursing home. Less than ten residents. From my rocker on the front porch, I have watched several cars drive up this morning. First fellow parked, went inside for a few minutes, and came back out with an elderly woman on his arm, helped her into the cab, and tossed a metal walker in the back of the truck. Now here goes a second fellow inside, this one appearing quite elderly himself, with a pot of yellow flowers in his hands.

It's Mother's Day.

Amazon suggests we celebrate by giving Mom "gifts she'll love." First on the list is a sterling silver pendant with a mother and three children (no dad?). Also listed are a World's Greatest mom coffee cup (a tea cup is also available), a dozen roses, and several photo frames. When I restrict Amazon to just books, up comes a surprising number of children's picture books about Mother's Day along with some grownup titles like It's Okay to Take a Nap and Other Reassuring Truths for Mothers Everywhere, Dear Mom Thank You for Everything, and even When You and Your Mother Can't Be Friends.

I watched a video last night. Part of it recalled the now-famous Harry Harlow experiment with Rhesus monkeys. Two monkey "mothers", one made of cloth, but with no food, and one made of chicken wire, with food. The baby monkeys would seek out the wire mothers only long enough to be fed, but then would desperately go to the cloth monkeys for cuddling.

I spent a huge hunk of my life mothering. I stepped away from my beloved job for twenty years to take time with my family. I did Vacation Bible School and Den Mother and PTO mom. I went to nearly 400 basketball games. How many times did I sleep on the ground, in the mud, in the rain, at Scout camps? Award ceremonies. Sleepovers. Field trips. Birthday parties. Choir programs. Not to mention those evenings spent in the emergency room and the delightful vomitting nights.

But those days are past. My sons are grown. I will never forget days spent on the porch swing, singing along to that old song:

"Oh, we ain't got a barrel of money,
Maybe we're ragged and funny
But we'll travel along
Singing a song
Side by side."

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!


  1. Happy Mother's Day! I hope you're having a great day.

  2. Happy Mother's Day to you! Loved the pictures. LOL

  3. Awww, I'm about to cry now. Lovely post, Debbie! I hope you had a wonderful day.

  4. What a lovely post, Debbie. Hope you had a wonderful day!

  5. Beautiful post... Happy Mother's Day!

  6. A great mother-son dance song, I think! Happy (belated) Mother's Day to you :)

  7. A great mother-son dance song, I think! Happy (belated) Mother's Day to you :)

  8. What a fantastic Mother's Day post Debbie. Hope your Mother's Day was as wonderful as the post you wrote.

  9. BEautiful post. I hope you had a great Mother's Day! :-)


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