Have a happy mother's day!!
Yesterday my country was the warmest country in Europe.
Today the temperatures were a bit lower, but the humidity far higher.
But it didn't keep us from celebrating mother's day.
With kids in and post puberty there's no chance of being woken up at 5 or 6 o'clock like in the past, when they couldn't wait to recite a poem and give the macaroni bracelet.
I was the first to be up and about. I didn't mind.
Outside the birds had a good time together and I fitted in in silence perfectly.
By the time the kids woke up I had seen a lot of nature in my garden, had breakfast and some relaxation.
It was good I prepared this day well, present-wise.
So all had a gift, even though I bought some small things myself, and the ritual started in a funny way.
As the oldest boys were not present yet, and the younger kids couldn't wait, we used the luxury of a large family: youngest kids gave their gifts in the morning and the rest when the oldest bunch was present.
I was surprised with a mug stating I was voted best mom and a picture frame containing a few old photos, because they weren't able to arrange a new photo yet...but it will come...oh yes mom, it will come.... The other gifts were given with a conspiracy smile between the kid and I. Ofcourse I loved the pendants and the rest.
The applepie was delicious, the kids had fun, and I leaned back on the couch observing this nice bunch of kids. All different, some of them dealing with autism spectrum disorder, but all dealing with life the best they can.
I have a full load of motherhood on my plate and I have a large diversity of motherhood pains in my history, most caused by other people, not by my kids, and some by the majestic force of nature itself, but I made the choice to be a mother and at a day like this it's good to be one.
What some other people say about me makes clear that they just don't know me as a person and I doubt if their tunnelvision will ever allow them to see the mom I am.
When I dreamed about a large family I had one huge goal in mind: that my kids would feel happy to be the person they are, and that they would be good people in their hearts and for other people.
Most enjoy discovering the world and the way they can deal with it. Except for our classic autistic son, who feels good with himself and us, but needs a lot of support dealing with society.
Strange or not, most problems he faces come down to lack of respect for the person he is.
We live in a society where there is some ideal image of a person, and all who diverge from that are pulled with rules and regulations to that very same image.
He's just himself.
Like many moms of large families I see one sitting at the side of the nest, not even daring to look down, let alone to fly all by himself.
Oh, I wish he would. And maybe he can.
But he needs far more time than others, far more skills and loads of patience and support even to face the wonderful world around him.
There's no respect in this society for people with different thoughts and needs.
So I think he needs mothering even far after the others have waved me goodbye and have gone to live at their own place at their own insights.
I can deal with it, he can deal with it in his own way.
But can all those with their preconceived ideas handle the fact that he is different and I can deal with it according to his needs? Or will I find some people who are able to assist me, so he gradually can loosen him from the ties he needs? I know there are better places for him to develop himself and all I can do is show them, motivate him and motivate more.
It all will be well, in due time.
Motherhood this year is shadowed by people who think they know more about our lives than we know ourselves. Some people go far in creating a dream image, even if that's a nightmare. I think they feed on it in some way. I have no other explanation. These people are so locked in their own frame of mind and give their feelings so little space, that I think that maybe I worry more about their wellbeing than they ever think about ours.
Such a waste of life to be that way, such lack of using the true talents people have been given, the talents we all got: kindness, openheartedness, empathy, compassion and real care.
It's difficult for me to deal with these people. I feel I need to defend myself and my family, and in reality there's nothing to defend.
We're perfectly OK.
But the fact that people look at you like you're dirt creates tension. The fact that they're not able to see you the way you are is creates a kind of desperate feeling.
I know it's not important what people think about me and us, as long as we're OK and doing well. But it deeply hurts and it makes me ask myself what I'm doing wrong that they won't see us the way we are and keep on laying pressure on us to be the way they want to see us: not living up to the standards they have set (and probably can't keep themselves. Hence why the firm belief we can't be OK? )
I've dealt a lot with jealousy in my life. But this is more. And it casts a shadow over our feelings and happiness, because out there there are people who want to take it away.
They say the want to offer help. but I haven't even sen the smile and attitude of help.
Well, I and we can perfectly deal with life without them.
We would have crashed before they came into our lives; long, long before that.
The challenges of having such a large group of kids in different ages with different needs, guiding them through social life, self discovery, school, etc etc. And always keeping in mind that each of them is a true individual and should be regarded as that.
I haven't raised a small army or football team, I've raised and I'm still raising individual beings.
So whatever is going on in our lives, I'm filled with gratitude and it has only grown today with each kid telling me in his own way at his own time how happy they are with me as a mom.
It brings me to tears.
And it makes me grateful for the enormous gift my grandmother has given me by sharing all she experienced as a mom of even more children. I still see us sitting at her table at a day like this. The gardendoors open to the small balcony where lightning would hit at times.
She lived with all her senses, and left us the greatest gift of all: insight in being the best mom according to our talents.
Of all her wise lessons there are only a few I still need to learn: one is that each day really has just 24 hours, that there's no way to feel ashamed that I can't do everything in 24 hours, and that feeling guilty the house isn't in perfect order puts myself down.
Well, it helps that I know I've given the best time of my life to my children and that they all said they have had a wonderful childhood and happy memories.
When I see how they help their friends, stand beside them when life isn't easy and work to create a good future for themselves and the people around them, I feel so happy and so glad.
I hope I'm able to support them and motivate them all to their needs for may more years.
I know it means more and more just being where I am and being available, because flying is what I taught them and is what they have to need to do themselves.
Happy mother's day.