When our middle son was married, his older brother and best man gave a toast. He spoke of the dubious honor of being the first-born son and noted that, at one time in history, such a position would have guaranteed him a privileged status, and the inheritance of his father’s estate.
It was a humorous, light-hearted toast – filled with hyperbole. Guests loved it. Mike looked at me as he recalled his first bicycle. He described my anxious face peering through the living room window as he pedaled back and forth, back and forth, in the safe confines of our driveway (the part about the leash was totally bogus!) And, how he later watched his brothers at the same age, pedaling their bikes out of sight with a road map and a compass.
Who knew he could still recall his first boy/girl party, or that his paranoid mother had visited the girl’s house beforehand and interviewed her parents? (In the interest of accuracy, it wasn’t really an interview; I didn’t take notes.)
I was grateful he couldn’t remember the doting new mother who changed her infant’s outfit every other hour — or the ‘nervous Nelly’ who scrubbed the floor every other day when he learned to crawl – and ran ahead of him with disinfectant when he started walking. Fortunately, he didn’t mention mellow mother several years later who picked his baby brother’s ‘sippy cup’ off the floor, blew the dog hair off and stuck it back in his mouth.
At this point in his toast, Mike turned to the groom. “And now, you’re getting married – something I’ve never done. Good luck, little brother; you’re on your own! I’ll be interested to hear what Mom has planned for your honeymoon…”
I laughed along with the others as Mike finished the toast, then lifted my glass, grateful that he hadn’t included the really humiliating stuff…
Motherhood is definitely a work in progress. I’m sure I’ll get it right eventually — I’ve only been at it for fifty years…