Happy Mother’s Day. To everyone who has a mother, is a mother, is friends with a mother, teaches other mother’s children, is a pet mother or just smiles at children – this day is dedicated to you. Cheers to you and blessings to all those who have been part of the village which helped me raise my own two “nearly fully-fledged” cygnets. From the people who helped with carpools, to the volunteers in classrooms who enjoyed working with paste, paint and small fingers because I loathed those obligations, to the friends who cheered for my kids at sporting events and musical venues, to the kind people who still ask how they are and what they are doing. Sisters, friends, fellow parents, teachers, medical professionals, sports moms – whether you have children of your own or not – you have been a part of my son’s lives and I eternally grateful.
Ironically, although I love my children, love being a mom, loved my Mom and love all the moms/friends/people that have helped me “mom” my kids, I have a love / hate relationship with this holiday. Oh sure – as a mother who has spent two and a half decades finding shoes, cleaning up spills, taking cleansing breaths and not throttling my independently minded prodigal sons for all the various transgressions throughout the years – I deserve the flowers and hugs I received this morning. And don’t even get me started on what I should be receiving for cleaning their bathroom, there isn’t enough diamonds in the world for that. Oi Vay.
But Mother’s Day weekend is akin to ripping a band aid off for so many of us that I seriously think the that Hallmark should get off their profiteering bandwagon and cancel this whole messy corporately sponsored holiday. My logic as follows:
#1 – Shouldn’t Mothers and Fathers be honored and respected EVERY day? As a nearly five-foot 1 ½ inch mother who birthed two nearly nine-pound boys without the benefit of drugs because both of them were then, and are still now, in a big fat hurry to be part of the action – I think that they each should bow to me when I enter a room. Every day. For the rest of their lives. (And to you burgeoning moms – drugs are a FINE thing. If you believe in a higher power – think about that fact that she/he helped produce the fine medical community who made childbirth drugs a possibility and avail yourselves of them. If you are like me and have children who are genetically predisposed to rush – just apologize for your language before you even have your first contraction. It’s best for everyone.)
But I digress, which ironically – is a common thing for women of a certain age so get used to it if you like to read my blogs. I have hot flashes and mind lapses and am proud of it.
#2 – I am not alone in finding this a painful holiday. For 20 years I have found myself emotional and on edge around Mother’s Day. It is a big fat reminder that I cannot pick up the phone and call my Mom. It is a big fat reminder that I still miss her every day. It is a big fat and incredibly painful reminder that she has missed 20 years of my children’s lives. Seeing everyone on social media post photos of their lovely moms and proud grandmothers with their children is an excruciating stab to the heart. That does NOT mean I don’t cherish seeing those images – because those glowing photos are beautiful and touching and I get tears of joy seeing them. But it hurts.
And I am not alone. I ran into a friend today at the Farmer’s Market today who told me that after 30 years of “momless” Mother’s Days, she still won’t go to her significant others’ Mother’s Day family event because she is afraid she’ll burst into tears at any given moment. I have several friends who have lost parents recently. Sadly, we are at the age where we are cruelly reminded of the cycle of life more often. This day is a tender one for those of us who only get to speak to our mothers through our heart’s voices. Be gentle with us.
#3 – There are an infinite amount of people who cannot be a Mom, have lost a child, have children from whom they are separated or have a parent for whom they are no longer in contact with for whatever painful reason that might be. Those people are hiding this weekend too. They may be hiding behind fake smiles when they wish you Happy Mother’s Day. They may be hiding inside a wine bottle, or they may just choose to close the door of their home and not come out all weekend. I entreat you to open your eyes and see those people. And if they had one iota of helping you raise your child – hug them and say thank you.
I am blessed to have two dependably fabulous sons of my own and to be called “Mom” by an army of young adults I truly adore. I am also lucky to be the Mom partner to a wonderful Dad. Please do not think I mean to disparage Mother’s Day or the celebration of all Moms beautiful. If your mother is alive, it’s a great day to call her or spend time with her. Consider yourself lucky. If you are not able to verbally or physically be with your mom – treat yourself to a memory where you laughed together and know it’s okay to have tears in your eyes. In either case – I also encourage you to say thank you to the myriad of persons who are special. Let us spread the generosity being bestowed in the name of Moms to all those who are “mother’s aides” – the teachers, neighbors, friends, nurses, doctors and people who work to make our world a better place for future generations.
Happy People Day Everyone!