Monday, August 14, 2006

Sometimes Mothers Know Exactly What to Say

sorry for my vanishing act. I had a busy week. Shopgirl - you are close in your thinking, but not found at the beach.

Saturday, at my grandfather’s birthday my dad interrupted the loud banter to make a toast.

“I would like to make a toast to my lovely wife,” he said, “she just got promoted to Director and it’s a big huge deal and I could not be more proud of her.”

Clinking of the wine followed.

I am very proud of my mother. It is a great accomplishment.

“I would also like to congratulate my son for his new contract at work which is amazing. And to my son and his wife for their very first home purchase.”

I mentally roll things over in my head. No contracts for me. No home ownership. Do I get a toast too? Everyone else in my immediate family did.

So I pipe up jokingly, “And congrats to Rachel for being the little black sheep’!

“That is so like you Rachel,” Brother said, “Always trying to hog the spotlight.”

Where is the sense of humor here, I thought it was funny!

But all joking aside, sometimes I wish I had some major thing like a promotion. I guess being happy is not a big accomplishment anymore.

My mother, who was sitting down in front of me, turns around and gives me a look like she knows exactly what I am thinking.

She leans into me and whispers,

“And I would like to toast my daughter for being the best daughter anyone could ask for.”

And then I thought to myself, “yeah that IS something to toast about.”

I walked away smiling, because I have one hell of a mother.

Even if she was fibbing….just a little.


twobuyfour said...

Ok, first of all, how do you know she's fibbing? Have you compared yourself to all the other daughters in the world? I mean, personally I think mine's better than you. I think mine's the best. I'm not fibbing. I doubt that your mother is either.

Secondly, sometimes the best thing you can do is shut up. I don't mean that to sound cruel or mean. You know you are an amazing woman. Everyone who reads here knows that. I can only assume that in person you are (at least) equally amazing. Do you really need everyone to toast your amazingness?

I've dealt with lots of family gatherings where one sibling was given the spotlight and another felt small or unappreciated. Simply recognize that shining the light on your brother does not mean that you are unloved or unappreciated. Sometimes it means that some siblings/people NEED to be acknowledged publicly in order to feel self-worth. They may feel second-rate because you are so wonderful. They may very well feel like no matter what they do they can't measure up to YOU. When you share their spotlight it makes THEM feel small.

You know how great you are. Sure it's nice to have it acknowledged in front of friends and family and national television, but sometimes it's better to simply let the others have their time in the spotlight.

Rachel said...

I am sure that your mom is right. You are the best daughter in the world - for your mom!
That is one of the best compliments that she could have given you. You are truly blessed.
I think that I have an awesome mom. She totally rocks even though sometimes I turn into the parent and counsel her.
Wait until that happens. It is strange, but totally awesome at the same time.
Shows that she has raised you right when you can advise her instead of the other way around.
I missed your posts last week. Don't leave us hangin' like that!

Rachel Heather said...

2X4 - wow thank you. You are right but I also dont feel unloved or anything Far from it. I was just pointing out that my mom is a great mom. FOr a moment I did feel bad because every single family gathering is never a big acomplishment for me. I dont feel small per say, but sometimes I feel like I will never measure up in the way they work in the world. It is fine, but it is nice to have a mother who says something sweet anyway. I am not a spotlight hogger, I spend most of my family gatherings having Uno (card game) wars with my aunt and uncle.

You are very right in all of your points. I guess no matter how old I get my parents opinion and acknowledgement still matters to me.


Dustin said...


i wont leave a smartass comment cuz it just wouldn't be right in this post

damn u!

Rachel Heather said...

Rachel - sometimes I do that to my mom too! When she is stressed at work and such. Maybe when she is an old lady and I have to change her depends then I will really know I made it in this world! lol. I promise I won't leave you hanging for another week. I have a lot of juicy things to post :)

Dustin - awww but I like your smartass comments. Please don't censor yourself :)

minijonb said...

“And I would like to toast my daughter for being the best daughter anyone could ask for.”

...your mom is in the same lucky situation as my mother where she has one boy and one girl. she can lavish praise on you both with the "best daughter" and "best son" lines without making anyone jealous.

there outta be a law: anyone having children should have one girl and one boy. no more, no less.

Spat said...

I somehow have to agree with 2X4... but I also perfectly feel how you felt Rachel...

My sister and I have the same birthday (we are exactly 1 year apart me being a year older) and spme years ago, my family decided to throw a huge party for my sister and her 20 years old... they INVITED ME... as a guess... none from my family ever threw a party for me... i didn't feel UNLOVED... but you question yourself of how can you fly so low that none notice you exist...

I didn't say anything for year to my mom... and when i spit it out, she didn't understand why i was mad that day!

Anyhow... there is a french saying "Le silence est d'or mais la parole est d'argent" word to word translation would be "Silence is gold but speaking is silver".

My sister never knew about that.. and never will... its not her fault...but for a family, if you want to spotlight members... think of something for each not letting 1 soul feeling aside!

Twisted DNA said...

I know how you are feeling. I felt like that first several years of my life.

Your break hasn't come yet, and who knows, it's probably right around the corner :)

Steph said...

I must admit, I saw your blog on WIP's blogroll and clicked on it thinking, "Wow! Life and How to Live it - Perfect. FINALLY someone who is going to tell me how to live my life." So will you just get on with it already! I'll take whatever advice you've got...lay it on me.
Jeeezzz...Do I need help or what, when I go blog surfing to figure out what to do next with this fricking life?!

Anywho...enough about me and my pathetic search for the meaning of life. Love your blog. And yes, mom's come through don't they? I love what your mother said, and the fact that I'm sure she meant it with all her heart. Don't assume she's fibbing - she's not. Just be so comforted by the fact that a mother's love is unconditional, even when they drive you crazy. :)

shpprgrl said...

There is nothing like mom. Mom will love you always and offer to come take care of you when you're sick. (Even though she's probably thinking she'll be the unlucky sould to catch it from you!)

CP said...

I learned as far back as first grade that bringing happiness or humor to others is a thankless job, but sometimes you have to click your own wine glass and accept laughter as the reward.

Cheers Rach!

question girl said...

rach - i'm feeling ya'... all i get is "so when are you giving me grandchildren" in those situations

forget that i have 2 degrees AND a great job w/ phenominal reviews

Scott said...

Nice story.. about your Mom. I have been there in the Grandparent scene and know how it goes.


kat said...

why does your brother have to be such of an ass? good grief. i don't think your mom was anything other than genuine. i just wish she had said it for everyone to hear.

here's to you from a black sheep kid from the black sheep family. good times.

Keshi said...

Ur mum is lucky to have a duaghter like u...and she knows it. Thats the best part :)


Anonymous said...

Steph, Steph, Steph,

the meaning of life is...olives. your mission should you choose to accept it is to eat some today. (Happy to help in your quest)

Rachel know what you mean, I'm a daddies girl in some respects...when I was living away Dad sent me a birthday card and it said inside, 'I'm very proud of you', it didn't half put a smile on my face. How cool is that!

work in progress said...

My mom was the mom all my friends went to with their troubles because she was so cool and understanding. She found a great balance between parent and friend even though she constantly preached that kids don't need another friend they need a parent. I shared everything with her. I pretty much still do, but now I understand that she has plenty of faults-which is why she is so forgiving of mine.

I think giving props to your mom is great. Parenting is hands-down the toughest job (with the most rewards) that exists. And, I don't think she needed to say it for everyone else's benefit. Like 2x4 said, she meant it, you understand that, who else needs to hear it? The fact that the exchange was between the two of you makes it more special.

Heather said...

In the wake of my Mom's death last year, I've begun to reflect a lot on how amazing of a woman/wife/mom she is. Was. Is. One of the things that I love about this illustration of YOUR mom is how she took a moment, shared only with you, to let you know that she loves you. Fiercely. And that is the best of what having a mom is all about.

I love hearing stories like this about relationships between mothers and daughters. What an amazing gift it is to have, and be, a Mommy.

Lydia said...

Your mother sounds wonderful, and so great that she said just the right thing when you needed it. Mum's do have a knack of doing that. Bet you anything she wasn't fibbing!

Jill said...

That's very sweet and you're very lucky. :)

Also, being happy IS a major accomplishment and a true rarity in this world.

Hope you're well!