Celebrating an early Mother’s Day

By Tammy Keith Originally Published March 31, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated March 29, 2013 at 9:19 a.m.
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Writing a column when it falls on a holiday is hard sometimes.

First of all, I’ve been writing a column since my 23-year-old was a 1-year-old, so I’ve told every Easter memory I have, more than once.

(Longtime readers will recall that my younger son, when he was about 5, asked how the Easter Bunny got in the house, “since he doesn’t have opposable thumbs.”)

Today is a double challenge because it’s my husband’s birthday, too. (Happy No. 53!)

I was doing what I always do when I’m trying to think of a column, and I was thrashing about on the couch and whining: “What can I write about?”

OK — I wasn’t thrashing as much as I was whining.

Something led me to pull out my Mother’s Journal from the chest in the hallway. It’s a book with blank pages with little quotes printed at the top. I’ve written funny things that my kids have done or said through the years, mostly on scraps of paper and sticky notes stuck between the journal pages. It’s one of those things I would try to grab if there was a fire.

The first entry was March 13, 1989. I had forgotten what month it was that I found out.

It was painfully corny, but it took me back to that day.

Here’s what I wrote:

“This has been the most exciting day of my life!

“I thought I’d go crazy waiting those three minutes to hear — ‘Yep, you’re pregnant.’ The nurse was so calm.

“I’m pregnant! Unbelievable. I think I acted more excited than most of their patients. I grabbed Dr. Lunde’s arm as he came out of another patient’s room and yelled, ‘I’m pregnant!’

“The woman in his office laughed and said, ‘What a way to start the week.’

“Wow. I had to calm down and get another appointment. I can’t wait. I’m ready to get this show on the road. I’ve known for a little more than three hours. It’s my (our) little secret. David isn’t home, yet, from your grandmother’s house. Your other grandmother is teaching school.

“I went to the mall and it felt so strange walking around — looking so normal to friends and people I met. I wanted to scream it to everyone! But I played it cool. The woman in Waldenbooks didn’t even blink when I bought the book Fathering.

“I’m so scared. I have so much to learn. I immediately felt overwhelmed when I found out. What should I eat? Is it OK to take my allergy shots? I feel like I should enroll in some sort of class for having a baby.

“Please, little baby. Just stay in there and grow into a beautiful, healthy baby. You don’t have to be beautiful. Just be healthy.

“Thank you, God. I’m going to be a good mother.”

Fast forward to today, and it has been a blink of an eye, like everyone told me it would be.

I had that beautiful baby and another one, now 23 and 19. I loved them, rocked them, hugged them, spanked them, cried for them and sometimes because of them, and watched them grow up and make me proud.

They’re coming over today with their girlfriends to celebrate Easter and their dad’s birthday.

But, to me, it seems more like Mother’s Day.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

Niche Publications Senior Writer Tammy Keith can be reached at 501-327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

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