A Mother’s Standing Ovation

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I’m a sucker for standing ovations. I often embarrass my unexcitable husband by being the first to my feet at the end of a concert or during the final bows of a play. It’s not that I’m easily amused and overly generous with my applause, it’s just that if something is really really good, my body will not allow me to stay in my seat. It just has to show that its pleased – clapping isn’t enough.

So, when I see stories like this one below about a kid on stage who started out weak but nailed it on his second try, even if I’m watching from my computer at home, my feet always silently join the deserved ovation. My tears usually join in the ovation also by overflowing onto my cheeks. Like I said, I’m a sucker. I’m also a cry-er. (that’s not a word – in case, like me you are tempted to look it up) Exultation should be a whole body experience, right?

I think the reason that people are really happy for others in their standing ovations is because every soul longs for one of their own. I admit it; I can never get enough applause for myself. Now, I know that I will never receive an ovation for my talents onstage; my singing is mediocre, my dancing is painfully uncoordinated, and I am not sure if I could ever come up with any idea this unique, but standing ovations aren’t limited for the artists. They are also available for the athletes, the veterans, the graduates…all kinds of accomplished individuals. I often think to myself, “Surely, there is some area where I can be uber-accomplished.”

As one who gives more of herself to mothering than anything else, I often wonder what the equivalent of a standing ovation is for us.That’s because they never seem to happen! When I get all the laundry put away for the first time in a week, there is never anyone there clapping for me. In fact, I accomplished this just yesterday (which was a huge feat for a mom of 5 kids, one being a newborn) and I was only met with the hubby remembering at 10:30 p.m. that he needed one of his work shirts ironed! Don’t judge – I gave up ironing years ago. Darnit! My self-satisfaction didn’t even last an hour.

Like you, my kids never even thank me for dinner much less clap or whistle? And as much as I’ve visualized such, I’ve never once heard anyone holler “bravo” after I dragged my weary body to the side of the 5-year-old’s bed for story-time once again. So much work goes into motherhood, and I believe the job is grossly suffering from the lack of standing ovations. We should seriously change this. Next time you have a moment of masterful motherhood, I want you to know that I will totally jump to my feet. Hopefully visualizing a greater pretend audience reveling in your talents will put a smile on your face when you’re reality is only met with the screams of your toddler or the whining of your teenager. (Or if you are like me and are a mom who spread her kids way out – both at the same time.)

So, as I use my blog to brag about myself in a second, I hope you know that the following story is prefaced with a million years moments where no one was cheering. The other day, I got a standing ovation. At the arrival of it from my 15-year-old daughter I realized that a mother’s standing ovation is so very hard to hear because it is only found in the heart of her children.

My standing ovation came in the form of a facebook message from my Abigail. It was a sweeter than sweet message combined with a movie (that you must watch) about the typical ovation-less life of a mom. I had seen the movie and enjoyed it before, but it took on a whole new meaning for me when shared along with this meaningful message from one of my own:

Mom, this made me think of you. Even though you don’t always get done what you want, thank you for helping me and everyone else all the time. You are not a failure. I love you:)

The hearts of children are the greatest place for ovations to be kept because on the very rare occasion when the mom-ovations are shared, they’re more raucous than the Derek Jeter fans at Yankee Stadium.

Now, my 5-year-old just screamed from the bathroom, “Mom, come wipe my butt!” That so doesn’t sound like a standing ovation. I’ll finish off this post while visualizing the day in the near future that she poops at school and discovers that she really can wipe her own butt. How did all you clapping moms get in her school bathroom for my mom-ovation?

I bow to you all and thank you for your exuberance in my mom success. “Thank you.Thank you very much.” Blowing you kisses.

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