I sat next to my daughter-in-law recently on hard metal stadium seats, and happily broiled my nose in the cloud-filtered sun of San Diego’s heatwave, for my granddaughter’s high school graduation ceremony.
During the sweltering wait, I mused on the role of mother, while she appeared to float between seating tiers (it could have been heat exhaustion delirium), taking care of a dozen needs at once. When is a mother’s job done? Never …
MOIL (moil) vi. – 1) drudgery, hard work; 2) confusion, turmoil (moiler, n.). [WW #65]
Pretty much sums up motherhood. And a new Penchant for Penning word that (is made up) sums up “mommy toil/moil” – moiling!
Through confusion and turmoil, mothers just always seem to know what to do – or fake it well until it works out anyway. J For every major holiday and moments of celebrations, we oversee the festivities, moiling through the details to ensure that even if events don’t quite go as planned, a good time is had by all. Sound familiar?
My daughter-in-law orchestrated the ceremony attendance of loved ones and a restaurant party for a baker’s dozen, as if born to the role of event manager. And at the end, it was the teary hug between she and my granddaughter that made it so special.
For high school graduates, graduation is a symbol of maturity – an end to childhood, a sparkling beginning to the rest of their lives.
For moms, graduation is also a bright, shiny symbol. One of love, pride, and relief, with a carefully hidden tinge of sadness. Her baby is that no longer. Her child, who she has nurtured and loved to this poignant occasion, needs to spread her wings and fly – and that is a frightening moment for a devoted moiling mom.
A mother’s moiling is never done – but it does change dramatically in scope after high school. We are no longer allowed to wipe their noses, kiss their boo-boos, or brush errant strands of hair from their faces.
But … old habits are hard to break. A couple of years ago, one of my sons and I were at odds, exchanging differences of opinion. My forty-something son turned to me, and in all seriousness, said, “Stop momming me!”
I’m sorry – my reaction? What could I do? I burst out laughing. “Son, that will never happen.” It’s true, I’m a proud moiler for my children – always have been – always will be.
Word of the Week: MOIL. Can you fit it into your own line of prose this week about Mom and moments in life?
# # #