Don’t Cry, Mom

I first ‘met’ Kathleen through a blogging group, where I was immediately impressed by her lively, engaging spirit, and her support and encouragement of others. She’s someone who you want to listen to (a good thing for an author, right?). Here’s the thing, though – she writes hard things beautifully, in ways which seem to break the heart and mend it at the same time.

Case in point her piece today. It’s an honour to be trusted with it, and a pleasure to share a piece which speaks so deeply intoΒ  the heart of what it means to find yourself in the position of raising children; something which seems to be an unending pattern of love and strife and challenge and wonder. Kathleen shows that the cycle doesn’t stop – not even when your babies have their own children and you enter the next phase of life – because her heart is with her family, and with them it can break and mend, almost at the same time… – Lizzi

Don't Cry Mom - K O'Donnell

Funny thing about being a mom; some of it’s not that funny.

Don’t get me wrong. A lot of it is joyous, glorious, fulfilling.

Even when you’re sleep-deprived, at the fraying end of your rope, and wishing you’d had your tubes tied when you were eleven, one look at those tiny, precious faces and somehow it’s okay.

You have your babies. You get to call yourself ‘Mom’.

Then they start doing shit. You gotta start kissing boo boos.

They have to get immunized. They don’t like it. Sometimes you have to help the nurse keep them still, hold them down. All for their own good.

You tell yourself, ‘Don’t cry, Mom.’

They get pushed off the swing by the little prick next door. Even though their pride is what gets hurt the most, their lip trembles, their eyes fill. They never want to go to the playground again.

Don’t cry, Mom.

They get bit by a dog. Have to have stitches. They hold up pretty well; you’re a wreck.

The doctor says, “Don’t cry, Mom”.

They score the winning point, they hit home runs, they get the starring role in the school play.

Don’t cry, Mom.

They get dumped by the loser you hoped would dump them. They’re devastated. You know it’s for the best, you wished for it, dreamt of it. But their heart is broken.

Don’t cry, Mom.

Then the worst. They grow up, marry, start having babies of their own. By some cruel twist they want you in the delivery room. It’s the most painful labor you’ve ever had.

Don’t cry, Mom.

Then there’s more babies. You don’t think they need more. You’re not that thrilled even though the first baby is among the finest specimens ever born and your love for them knows no bounds. But they insist and before you know it, between them all they’ve got six altogether.

You didn’t ask for them, but you’ve gotta see them.

It’s love at first sight.

Don’t cry, Mom.

Then one of your grown up babies calls to talk about her baby. The one who’s spent 3/4 of her six year life struggling with a still unnamed, Cerebral-Palsy-like illness. The one who just broke her finger because she can’t walk without a walker. And even then…

She says they think something is wrong with her baby’s bones. The break is odd. She needs one more specialist. She will probably have to use a wheel chair now.

The air sucks out of your chest. Your fingers grip your phone so hard they might break. Your heart beats so loud you almost don’t hear her say –

“Don’t cry, Mom.”


K O'Donnell

Unlike shoe sales or brunch buffets, I arrived late to my writing career.Β  I wrote my first manuscript well after my nest was empty. The Last Day for Rob Rhino was released July 1, 2013 and is a two time finalist for Book of the Year. Sometimes I blog about my crazy life.

I’m Amerasian (if that’s still a word) born in Tainan, Taiwan and adopted by American parents. I’ve lived all over the world and am now retired and settled in Henderson, NV.

Hubby and I have four children, five grandchildren, I make no apologies for loving clothes, food, shoes, weirdos and Lucy. I’m forever grateful for my family, fried food, and the written word. – Kathleen O’Donnell
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Last Day for Rob Rhino