Return to site

Hip Sobriety School, Day 12

"Today I will practice being a mother to myself.

I will treat myself as I would an innocent child."

· Uncovery

Be the best fucking mother to yourself you have ever seen. Do the All The Things that take care of you, take the pressure off of where you have to be/what you should be doing, give yourself the things that you NEED, nurture the ever-living-shit out of yourself. ​—Holly Whitaker

Holly gets full credit for coming up with the greatest original Mother's Day quote of all time.

The conversation with two of my three daughters today (the harried mom and I are connecting tomorrow) was all laughter and joy. Katie was excited that her fur baby Murray finally, finally, finally (dare we say it) seems to be getting the whole potty training thing. This little guy is the world's cutest dog and one of the most frustrating creatures on four feet. "I'm not holding my breath, but the backdoor-doggie-door addition seems to be bringing it home like nothing else has. It's been four days now and no sign of accidents in the house—which means it's possible that I could be closing in on the end of what has been 14 straight months of having my every thought and most of my life revolve around his bladder and the last time he peed."

We talked about the blog posts and I told Katie I had back gone over the first ones and deleted a few fucks. It's too tempting to go overboard once I'm on a roll, and maybe just one fuck or less per post should be the limit. She said I was talking to the wrong person about that, which I knew. When I first joined Facebook, I used to go out the Urban Dictionary just to figure out what some of her words and phrases even meant. It took about three times of me putting the shocking definitions I had found under Comments for her to threaten to unfriend me. (Seriously? You would unfriend your own mother? Yes, I totally would.) On this point, though, Katie did agree that too many fucks can make for laziness of expression and turn into a less precise way of having fun and being playful and sassy with language.

Lizzy and I talked about what's been going on with the endless siege of housecleaning after the new tile went down, and how much "stuff" from the past has ended up at Goodwill, aka Good Riddance. Things like the insulated cooler we've always lugged around—the one her dad won in an office picnic raffle before she was even born—the 30-pound vacuum sweeper I bought 20 years ago, and several ancient suitcases of Bill's that have been gathering dust in the garage for a dozen years. (No, I did not ask him.) The replacements for those things are new and light, they fit our needs today—and they have wheels. Apparently, the dominant energy right now is all about cleansing and releasing.

The rest of the day was one delightful experience after another, from the morning coffee on the patio to the All Balanchine ballet performance and a deeply discounted dinner at a posh Scottsdale hotel. We had the place to ourselves when we walked in the door at 5 PM, even though the banquet room had served 700 that day and the brunch count was just under 500. Mothers, grandmothers, mothers, aunties, "like a mom" and more mothers. Our Amanda Seyfried look-alike server spent most of the evening chatting with us about art (Bill's new passion), showing photos of her own pieces, and talking up the art classes available at community colleges. We left with her contact information because she wants to organize an Art in the Park event where people of all ages and talent levels can create in a beautiful outdoor space. Thank you, Groupon, for a bubbly new artsy friend.

So as Mother's Day winds down into a starless night, I'm thinking that Holly's quote needs to remain front and center every single day of the year. Laminated possibly, stuck to the refrigerator, or maybe tattooed backward on my forehead so I can read it each morning when I'm brushing my teeth. Something.