Heroic, majestic and impressively great are the words used to define EPIC. Some people are so epic I can't get enough of being around them. Epic people make you want to be better but they aren't necessarily heroic, majestic or impressively great. Sometimes epic-ness is subtle. Sometimes it is not.
Being a parent is daily bursts of subtle epic-ness. It is the common thread that keeps all of us sane yet we look for the mountain-top epic-ness, often ignoring the idea that the key to surviving and thriving in this life is merely just taking the next breath. Sometimes as a parent you have to give your children the next breath so that they can go on.
Most books, websites, blogs and even pamphlets on parenting don't even scratch the surface of how completely epic it is to be a parent yet I keep reading. I want to be an epic mom. I'm also watching. I've learned a LOT about this tricky parenting gig just by observing the behavior of others. What will my kids remember about me when they are grown? When I'm no longer here on earth, what will they say about me? Will they every know how epic is has been for me to be their mother?
I try not to let these thoughts interfere with what I'm doing now, but it's hard sometimes. Life is about living. Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans. Don't play the result. Be in the moment. Blah, blah, blah. Easier said than done.
Don't play the result. I read an interview with Michael J. Fox, a few years ago and he said those words. DON'T PLAY THE RESULT. We all know how it ends, right? We are born, we live and we die. Life is epic, no matter how it's lived and no matter how someone tells me to live so why is do l keep seeking some sort of epic, majestic and impressively great advice or wisdom on the right way to live, love or raise my children? The result won't be favorable if I don't focus on the process.
Reading those words reminded me that the epic-ness of my life with my kids lies in the moment. Each moment has the potential to be epic, but if I'm not actually there in that moment, then I am merely existing as I await the next grand gesture or memory making moment that they might remember when I'm pushing up daisies.
I remember my mother continuing to smile through my fumblings during midnight mass on Christmas, her hands spotted with dried candle wax. That had to hurt. They way those hands gently scratched my back to soothe me to sleep after getting my heart broken, and seeing her face as she watched my children being born or when I looked for her in the bleachers while I was competing in a sporting event as a kid. I remember her walking my colicky son in circles for hours, but most of all, I can still see her kneeling at my father's feet and holding his face between her hands when the pain of his cancer made him cry.
None of these things seemed epic at the time. I have always expected epic-ness from her, yet because Mother's day is this Sunday these images have been flooding my soul. Mother's day is Sunday. How do you let the people you love know that an epic gesture isn't necessary while still acknowledging their epic-ness? I have an epic mom. I can tell you that no material item or words can possibly convey the epic-ness of my feelings for her.
The night my father died was the only night that week that I slept at my own house. My subtle epic mom duties had been neglected; laundry, cleaning, shopping and spending time with my husband and son. I arrived at my parent's home about an hour after my father had died. My mom had sat at his bedside holding his hand and rubbing his arm and cheek so that when I said my goodbyes, I would not be touching a cold, hard hand or face. She didn't learn that in a book.
Once again, this Mother's Day, I'm going to tell her that I think she's epic. I'll even write her a letter telling her exactly how I feel. My book is dedicated to her and contains a very long love letter, telling everyone how positively epic she made the ordinary moments of my life. But it never seems like enough.
Happy almost Mother's Day to you all! Be epic.