The purpose of this blog was never to brag about my child. But lately, my sweet boy will turn to me while eating a meal and say, “Thank you for the food, Mama.” It blows me away. I don’t know where it came from. Maybe he keeps doing it because the first time he said it, I lost my mind, got a little weepy and covered him in kisses.
That’s my Mother’s Day, any day. Seriously, that’s it for me. Nothing more. OK, I’ll take the spontaneous kisses, the I love you so muches and just the joy of watching him grow and learn. Sound sappy? Maybe it is. But being a mom has made me a happy person. I’ll also take the vomit with multiple sheet changes, the No I won’ts, the but I’m not tireds, and the I have to go pottys just as I buckle his seat belt.
I posted a Mother’s Day article by Anne Lamott called Why I Hate Mother’s Day on my Facebook page. I got a lot of teasing and some confused questioning: Evie you are the happiest mother ever, why do you like this article? Why do you hate Mother’s Day? Ms. Lamott talks about the lie of Mother’s Day – that we are told to believe MOMs are superior.
I do think there’s a lot of pressure on women to feel like they need to be moms. I wanted it badly. Other women do not. So how do those women feel about the day?
I have hated Mother’s Day most of my adult life, but for another reason.
Mother’s Day to me was always about MY mom – which usually included a homemade card and a day of antiquing and lots of I love yous.
My mom died almost 20 years ago. I was young. Everyone I knew, still had their mothers. So, the last 19 Mother’s Days I have spent motherless. And miserable. And there it was – I hated Mother’s Day. I hated the way everyone brunched and gave flowers and said Happy Mother’s Day (said in a mocking tone) as if everyone was included. For most of my adult life, I felt completely excluded and angry, on this day. I want to be to MY mom on Mother’s Day, but I can’t.
So now that I’m a Mom I’m supposed to forget about all the people who feel left out? I can’t forget about them. I am them. Still.
I don’t need to celebrate me, being a mom. I don’t need others telling me to have a happy day. I don’t need gifts for doing what I want to do (OK, I did need the check my dad gave me in a very sweet card – Hallmark, category; to daughter from father.)
The last 2 years, I spent Mother’s Day with family and my baby son. They were lovely, but I didn’t want the fuss over me. I didn’t need a day. I’m not traditional. I was just happy to be a mom. Me. Single, unmarried, old me. A mom. A miracle? A mitzvah.
I wanted to fuss over another mother. Mine. But I couldn’t.
This year, Spenser learned about Mother’s Day from my sister, who gave me some nice gifts. And she gave my son the knowledge that on this day, you GIVE lots of love and handmade cards, to mommy. And this year, S learned a little about GIVING to me. He had his Uncle help him make a surprise card for me, (while I was sitting right there) and he said Happy Mother’s Day Mommy, I love you so much many times, unprompted at dinner.
Suddenly I realized, my family all wanted to GIVE to me. They had someone to GIVE to now, after all these years. And I just had to learn to TAKE. GRACEFULLY.
Mother’s Day is about letting my son GIVE to me now. And so for them, I let the day be about me. I try to think of my mom and imagine somewhere, this is making her happy.
I still think that there doesn’t need to be a special day for moms. A day that reminds those of us without moms that we aren’t in the club and we can’t buy (or make) a card that says “I love you, Mom.”
I’m sure and hopeful that there will come a day when I appreciate Mother’s Day a bit more – when S is older and busy with his own life – hanging with friends, going to a practice or a party or even his own family- when I will be thankful that I have a day where I can make him be with me and remind him that it feels nice to GIVE some love and appreciation to mom.
But I have a feeling he will always say I love you so much many times, unprompted. And I think that will always be all I need, any day of the year.