I just can’t bear to try to find another way to talk about Mother’s Day. It’s a non-holiday, one that I really dislike. I am not interested in cards, in breakfast in bed (which no one in my family would think to do anyway) or even in a day at the spa on my own.
We have a kids baseball game and a field hockey game to attend. That’s good enough for me. I love attending my kids' events. I love being with my family, and relish the opportunities, especially now that I’m working full time. And when I need time and space away, I find it, and not on one particular Sunday a year.
I don’t need my kids trying to find ways to show their love, when in fact, it wouldn’t really occur to them except in this manufactured way. I prefer to look at the bigger, long-term picture, and hope that our family life, for all its flaws, will sustain them into adulthood and they will be able to look back and say, you know, those parents of ours were ok.
Another reason this day sticks in my craw is that I am motherless. My mother died 8 years ago. She also chose to leave our family when I was a teenager, so I suffered her loss twice. Sure, I made the requisite macaroni chains as a kid to show her my love, but my sense of obligation to her got obfuscated early on. As an adult, Mother’s Day felt ridiculously forced, shining a klieg light on all that was difficult and challenging in our relationship. And today, it’s merely a reminder of all that sadness, and not even on a day that holds any personal meaning for me.
Sorry I’m being grumpy.
I love being a mom. I love having a mother-in-law and a step-mother who are a part of my life and are wonderful grandmas to my kids. I love having friends who are moms. And friends who are not moms. And I love celebrating all the good times with all those friends – the important moments in life. And supporting each other through the unbearable sad times as well.
But these annual “holidays” just fall flat for me. Perhaps I will feel differently when my kids have grown and left, and they forget Mother’s Day year after year. But I don’t think so. I hope we have many other reasons to be in touch, to connect and show our love for each other. I don’t need a Sunday in May and an expensive brunch to remind me of their presence in my life, nor mine in theirs.
Photo by 21tongiant via Flickr