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Well now…don’t those lemon bars just look pretty enough 
and tempting enough
to gobble right up!

Go ahead and give them a try if you love 
to pucker up your lips tight…..
and say things like
“Wowwwwww Zowwwwwiieee that is a lot of lemon…..
pass the water.”

If you also love lemon bars that get all perfectly baked along the edges (see the lovely and deceiving picture above…) and all soggy and mushy in the center of the pan and don’t come out looking pretty or appetizing at all and are just a total mess…(make that a REALLY sour mess)….these are your bars!
But I’m not bitter about how they turned out. 
No sir-ree.
That wouldn’t be 
lady like
kind and gentle
mother of the year-ish.

And it is, after all, almost Mothers Day.
And I wouldn’t want to be bitter (or sour) on that day!

So…I’ll just buy some more lemons.
And try again.
And hang my bitterness on a shelf somewhere out of reach.
Which is what mothers do
with bitterness, that is. 
And sourness…
And grouchiness…
And overwhelmedness….
And holy cow I have a lot of children…
And I’m so tired how am I going to keep up…
And if I mop up one more mess off this kitchen floor I might kill over dead. Is there a maximum number of times one woman can clean up a kitchen floor in her lifetime? 
I think I’m almost there.

But I’m not bitter. 
At least not today. 

A few days ago I was in the middle of doing a little bit of yard work. Because it is May….and shouldn’t I pull last years crusty old withered tomato plants out of the ground already or what?

Yeah. What. 

While I stared those ugly old tomato plants in the face I was thinking to myself…

“Girl. You’ve got more work to do than you have time for.”

I was agreeing with myself quite heartily…
Sure do…that’s right….poor me….boo hoo….with all this work. 
Letting Old Man Bitter take right over really.

I was sulking thus when my very own Grandma happened to call on the phone. We chatted for a spell while I sat on a rock in my backyard, phone in one hand and a dirty rake in the other. 
She’s pretty sick and old and frail and can’t get out much anymore. 
We talked about her health and my kids and gardening.
And just talking to her made me feel so much better. 
About my life…
And my crusty old tomato plants.
And then she said…

“Oh what I wouldn’t give to get out in the 
with a
dig around in the dirt
for a while.”

And it was the darnedest thing
but Old Man Bitter just up and walked away….
and I said to myself…

“Girl. You better start enjoying every minute of this life you have chosen for yourself. Heavy work load or not. It’s going to be over before you know it.”

And so I have been enjoying. 
I’ve hung my bitter and tired and “woah is me” on a shelf somewhere out of reach. 
Because that’s what we mothers do…
and then we just get back to work, and back to loving and caring for and helping with and doing this and that and the other and ENJOYING our lives.
Because you know what happens to 
Old Man Bitter 
if you let him hang around too long, don’t you? 
The bitterness turns into 

And that’s a road I never want to walk down.

What kind of woman would let herself resent a beautiful life?
Not me. I hope not ever me….

Happy Mothers Day to all of you beautiful women out there. 
May your stack of dishes be a little lighter, 
may your children quarrel less, 
may YourHandsomeHusband kiss you extra long and wonderful,

and may your Lemon Bars be perfectly sweet……

About Jamie

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  1. Jamie, thank you for sharing your bittersweet and yet uplifting story! So very true! Hope you are having an awesomely wonderful Happy Mother's Day! God bless you!

  2. Hey Jamie. I enjoyed your post so much today that I made it the topic of my blog post today. I don't like borrowing from people if they're going to be upset about it, so please let me know if you are and I'll fix it.

  3. What a beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing the importance of perspective and teaching me about “old man bitter”. It's important to remember that he walks around like he owns the place and invites himself where you didn't invite him. And the best way to get this unwelcome guess to leave is to teach him a thing or two about Madame Perspective and Sir Gratitude. Thank you so much!

  4. I really enjoyed that post. Thank you for the thought. I am sure I will be kicking out “old man bitter” a lot now. 🙂

  5. I have printed this. Not so much for the recipe, although that is a bonus; but rather for the message.
    I'll refer to it every now and again whenever I need a reminder of just how fortunate I am.

    Thank you so much.