Mother’s Day, Pandemic Style

I made a fun and lighthearted gift basket for my mom and sister to celebrate Mother’s Day this year. Included were the ubiquitous candy and flowers… but also my homemade cloth masks, toilet paper wrapped in ribbons and bows, and hand sanitizer with “Corona Killer” written on it in red Sharpie.

Pandemic gift basket :p

I put the basket on the front porch and rang the doorbell before backing away to a safe distance. We shared laughs and both Mom and my sister really enjoyed the gift.

I don’t think of myself as a sentimental person, and I do just fine without a lot of social contact (as long as it’s meaningful when it occurs). I was a tomboy in my elementary years and a survivor of various emotional traumas (many due to my own poor choices). I’m a tough girl ™️

I didn’t expect to feel that sudden pang and tears threatening when I had to leave without giving my mom a hug.

Several months ago, she offered to go through all three Druid Chronicles novels and help with editing. Since I’m an indy author who primarily writes and publishes for fun, I can’t justify spending thousands of dollars on a professional editor. So I’ve done 95% of it myself. I’m good at grammar but editing one’s own material is tough simply because I’m so familiar with the material. Catching errors and typos requires a fresh eye that is extremely difficult for an author.

I had more or less forgotten about it, assuming that my 3 year old nephew, work, and the pandemic had eaten up all her spare time. I was wrong.

Today, Mom gave me two quarts of local strawberries and her copy of Traveler, complete with what looked like a million sticky notes scattered throughout its pages.

I guess we all want our parents to be proud of us, but I’ve spent decades becoming significant to myself so that compliments are lovely, but icing on a delicious cake.

Her words to me today, however, were a precious gift. She said that while she was going through Traveler, she was reminded of what a “wonderful writer” and “excellent wordsmith” I am.

She’s told me before that she likes my books, but your mom is supposed to say nice things about your creative endeavors. My mom especially, since she sometimes takes “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” to an extreme. She is truly one of the nicest, kindest people you will ever meet. She only gets sweeter and.more loving with age.

But today I really took her words to heart, and I find myself on the verge of tears again. I’ve had such difficulty finding time to be a writer in the past several weeks. I can’t seem to find the time to fix the things that I know need fixing, and to finish the fourth novel. For once, I haven’t been beating myself up over it, but there has been a gentle daily reminder to get back to my laptop.

This pandemic has us all in a tailspin, trying to figure out how to juggle kids, jobs, and staying safe. My daughter is an essential worker, so my granddaughter has been with me anywhere from 15 to 25 hours a week since schools closed. What with riding and training my horses in the morning (so they don’tget wild), having Rory in the afternoons, and preparing supper and spending time with family in the evening, my schedule is packed. Unlike a lot of people, I am busier than before the shutdown.

It has been a valuable lesson in how much time I really had before all this started, and how much of it I wasted. It is a lesson I am constantly learning, as I’m sure many of us are.

My mom told me she’s going back to work in the morning. She’s a church secretary. I told her to put some tape on the floor to keep people from coming too close. She’s over seventy, and while she’s in good health, too many people around here seem not to be taking COVID-19 seriously.

I need to write and edit tomorrow. But I’ll probably spend the time making her some more masks.

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