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This was the first greeting I got from my husband and children on Mother’s Day.

Via text message at 8:24 am (because who needs Hallmark when you have texting).

“Happy Mother’s Day! We’re locked out so call us if you get this. We love you.”

Then my cell phone rang. Three times.

Then the knocking began.

Ok, ok…I’m up. I got it. Mother’s Day is on. Full on. Right now.

I’m glad I let those persistent buggers in because Rick and the girls lavished me with gifts and roses and caffeine. Then we went to our favorite diner and walked home in the brisk sunshine. In a universe of millions, these are my two favorite little hands to hold.

But there is something that always makes me a little uncomfortable about Mother’s Day.

It’s the day I feel like my relationship with my own mother is just not good enough. Shouldn’t we be like girlfriends, always shopping and laughing and lunching and pedicuring? Shouldn’t we be talking on the phone everyday, discussing whether McDreamy should be with Rose or Meredith. Like two peas in a maternal pod?

But we aren’t. She has never heard of Meredith or Rose. And long chats on the phone? Not exactly my thing.

So where do we connect? Especially on this holiday that expects so much from us.

Perhaps somewhere along the Hudson River.

Rick took the kids to New Jersey to see his family and my mother and I roller bladed along the water.

We skated and talked. And maybe it wasn’t a greetings card. Maybe we didn’t bond like they do in those effervescent Mother’s Day commercials. But it felt real.

I know sometimes we both wish it was different. That maybe if we could dart back in time, fix things somehow… erase divorce and limitations and our own strikingly different chemistry… then we could somehow be more alike. More intertwined.

Or maybe one must slowly let go of the past. Try to release those mother-daughter expectations. And realize, it’s ok to be different. It’s ok to just be ourselves.

Today I expressed, to my mother, my true joy that she is off on her next adventure, to pursue a degree in social work.

She shared how proud she feels to watch the woman and the mother I’ve become.

And she was an enormous part of that…. this me that now exists. And for that mom, I am truly grateful.

And maybe in the end, that was the gift of this day.

mama bird notes

Shannon is the winner of the Lavender and Eucalyptus Bath Spa Kit from Organic Style. Congrats Cole Mine girl! Check out her sassy red self.

Time for the mama’s survival kit giveaway! It includes decadent, organic homemade chocolates from nunu chocolates, organic coffee from Grounds for Change, and some eco friendly, fabulous wine from Parducci. No, I’m sorry Erin, sadly it doesn’t come with a nanny. Darn, I should have thought of that.

To enter to win, just leave a comment this week on the mama bird diaries.

42 Responses to mother’s day

  • Milena says:

    It looks like one rollerblade's step in the right direction to me. So glad you could share that with your mother and very happy to hear that you have found something that sounds like a new way to approach your relationship to each other. That photo of you with the girls and the line about your two favorite little hands to hold on to was lovely also. Happy mother's day to you Kelcey. Late in the day but hey, it ain't midnight yet. πŸ˜‰

  • calikim says:

    Awww….its okay. My Mommy doesn't know Meredith or McDreamy either. And I don't understand how she can spend HOURS on end crocheting and doing jigsaw puzzles….and how she has NEVER sent an e-mail or a text in her life.

  • Shannon (Cole Mine) says:

    Can I just tell you that you have completely made my perfect Mother's Day even MORE perfect? Oh that spa kit will go to good use around here…Thank you sincerely from a Mama who hasn't treated herself to a spa day in way too long! Can't wait!

    And about your post – truly beautiful from the sweet pic to the real conversation on wheels. Sounds very memorable. Happy Mother's Day Kelcey!


  • Gabriella's mom says:

    Beautiful gorgeous you and your gorgeous mom spending quality time together, rollerblading on a gorgeous sunny mother's day? how many of us women wish we had that?! my mom told me when I was eleven years old, if you want a girlfriend, call your friend Suzie, I am your Mother, I'm not your friend. That relieves me of all expectations of friendship. I have a mother and I am a mother. If my kid likes me when she gets older, well that's just icing on the cake, I guess. I love and admire my mom and I've never confused her for a best girlfriend.

  • Jessi says:

    I just typed up this huge response and then realized it was all about me! So here we go again lol:

    I'm glad you were able to see your mom and have that moment. If you need a Rose and Meredith pal, I'm there! We can watch it while on speaker phone… (I know! I wish I could have that w/my mom too)

    Happy Mother's Day!

  • Jennifer H says:

    It sounds like the best kind of day with your mother. Honest, and unforced.

    How great is it that your husband and kid woke you with presents and flowers? I love the photo of you holding hands with your children.

    Happy Mother's Day!

  • Di says:

    I'm sure there is no extra weight given for sob stories…but I think I DESERVE chocolate since I spent my mother's day with a fever of 101 and with no one in my family responding when I was moaning for someone to get me some water. Oh, the many days and nights I spent nursing children with fevers and other maladies…and all I get is attitude when I can't lift my head off the pillow to get some water! So that's my entry!

  • Jacki says:

    Man, this makes me feel really un-loved right now. I didn't even get a card from Peter, let alone an actual gift or flowers or anything. And I had to cook my own dinner.

  • Jacki says:

    And he was up with the girls before 9am?!?!?! Peter has never, EVER woken up early on a weekend to do anything for me. Sheesh.

  • Erin says:

    Glad you had a good mother's day with your kids and your own mama. How cool that your mom roller blades and I'm still impressed she is on to pursue another degree. Glad you were able to connect on another level with your mom.

  • Robin says:

    I love that story of your Mother's Day morning. Rick is a gem. I think you've got that whole thing worked out perfectly – husband takes kids to see his mother, you get quality time with yours. I think I'm gonna steal that model. I got my coffee in bed with lots of wonderful cards, and my kids made me awesome flower arrangements made out of egg cartons & such, but then we all headed to CT to see both mothers for brunch. Next year, your way.

  • madge says:

    wonderful post. my relationship with my mother is so twisted and complicated i couldn't begin to post about it. mother's day has always been tough for me — at least before my own wonderkins came into my life and made it so sweet with their presence.

  • kelsey kleiman says:

    Ditto on suburban correspondent's posting.

    (I'm guessing those are characters on Gossip Girl)

    I love reading your posts Kelcey….they often leave me wanting more (which is a good thing).

  • Daphne says:

    Beautiful post and a beautiful day. A diner with your own kids and a rollerblading date with your mother sounds pretty close to perfect to me.

  • Toni says:

    I think rollerblading along the Hudson with your mom is awesome! I would have loved to do something like that with my mom.

  • ErinB says:

    I hope you can let go of the past cuz it sounds like you are on the road to a pretty nice future relationship with her.

    Oh and Meredith, Rose and McDreamy are on Grey's Anatomy for those who are still wondering. :-}

  • Buffy Blackwell says:

    What a great mom's day! And for the record I am barely surviving so I could use the kit. I don't even need a nanny cuz I have a 15-year old slave…I mean, son to help with that. I just need some decadence…hehe

  • Ilene says:

    We missed you, but I loved spending a couple hours with your angels, thanks for sharing them with us. Sounds like you had a great mother's day. Love reading your posts.

  • mp says:

    mom's are all different..I don't think that you are supposed to be "buddies" w/ your mom..it works for some people. As long as your heart is in the right place all is good.

  • Megan says:

    Happy Mother's Day! Unfortunately I had a sick husband on Sunday so it was just me and the girls. Todd actually had flowers sent to me at home since he was too sick to get out of bed. The girls and I got out for a picnic lunch and festival, even though I had to do all the work.

  • Locked out! Sounds like your hubby and mine have very similar tendencies. I have long conversations with my mom weekly, she's in NY and I'm in CO. I couldn't imagine going rollerblading with her, that would be AWESOME!

    You'll know when you are ready to let go. Start small, it feels good.

  • Kathy says:

    This was so sweet and from the heart. I'm sure your mother treasures you. I don't know if I really believe in the Gilmore Girl mother/daughter relationship…do those really exist??

    ps Your hair is really pretty.

  • This is such a beautiful post. A mother-daughter relationship is so much like a marriage. Hallmark wants us to believe both are all sunshine and daydreams when in reality, both take work. And in the end, they are what they are. Beautiful and messy, usually. You captured it perfectly, here.

    And I LOVE that photo of you walking with your girls!

    Happy (belated) Mother's Day. πŸ™‚

  • Kimberly says:


    What you wrote about your mother totally strikes a chord with me. Powerful, vunerable and strong all at once.

    I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day, sweetie.

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kelcey kintner