It’s Mother’s Day, ostensibly the day we pay homage to our mothers. If one is in fact a Mom, you might assume the day is about you and your needs. The greeting card industry and television commercials certainly promote this notion. Perhaps this is an accurate representation for some. But what is simultaneously so is the fact we often are daughters to Moms/Step Moms or there is a daughter person in the family who is a Mom, which, if you are fortunate enough, makes you a grandmother. So, already the day is fraught with complications. As women we are particularly prone to feeling responsible for holidays and special occasions, even those supposed to be about us. More often the day finds us hosting family dinners, running errands for others, or schlepping to spend the day with relatives. (A friend confided she spent the morning perusing Craig’s List and emailing possible subletting opportunities for her daughter whose moving to Portland for three months) Let me pause for a moment and pose the following question- how pampered and relaxed do you feel as this day comes to a close? Like many Moms I have spent some perfectly wonderful Mother’s Days, but generally, they were not entirely about me. Last year I had the good fortune to share the day with my darling daughter who treated me to brunch at the Baltimore Museum of Art. I must add, however, we spent the remainder of the day searching for a new apartment for her. Is this resonating with anyone? Please let me know. I need company.
Part B of this Mother’s Day review are those pesky expectations. Just as Charley Brown vows not to get tricked once again by Lucy moving the football, we get tricked into thinking this year will be different. We just know on this Mother’s Day (1) the kids will remember the day- the second Sunday of May (although aren’t we entitled to a designated date so we don’t leave this to chance?) (2) at least one of them will plan a gathering, usually involving food, where we can relax and spend time together, (3) the Happy Mother’s Day call will be the first one they make that day; (4) maybe the ding-a-ling of the doorbell will usher in a bouquet of blossoms from our babies; (5) they will understand the way the way the postal service works and your card or package will actually arrive in a timely fashion. Now, don’t get me wrong- I HAVE THE GREATEST KIDS IN THE WORLD. They have actually performed many of these loving gestures throughout the last 30+ years. I guess the hardest part is when they live so far away. The greatest Mother’s Day present is sharing the day with our kids. When they live in Chicago and Baltimore, however, it makes quality time logistically difficult. The other injuries- whether the card comes on the following Monday or the call is in the pm instead of the am, is small stuff compared to their absences.
A really good Mom (I’ve been told) encourages the kids to thrive on their own and fly the nest. Maybe we should not have done such a good job.