I have read a couple of Mother’s Day posts. I love reading them. They also bring to my mind my mixed feelings on this day. I had wanted to write a post and wax poetic about how my memory of my Mom is so dear to me. I was then going to go on and be so thankful for my older sister who had the dubious joy (?) of guiding me through my teen years…
But, who am I kidding? Today at breakfast hubby prayed that we would have productive days today. Instead of saying amen, I looked at him and immediately spoke (never a good thing). “Do you think I am not being productive enough getting ready to move?” This was not a nice question, and I did not ask it in a nice way. My poor hubby, trying to eat his eggs and sausage in peace and get on with his day of working on his car.
After 40 years of marriage and 5 years before knowing me, he said the right thing, “I was referring to me mostly”. Wise man.
That was the start of my thinking on Mother’s Day. That and the Catholic guilt I still carry in me after 60 years of life. As I dove into cleaning the oven and the racks in the oven, I ruminated about Mother’s Day. I have shared how I felt as a child on Mother’s Day, but, today I was thinking about the day in general.
I know it is a good thing to celebrate Moms. You should honor Moms. They give birth. They worry. They yell. They pray. They do a lot.
But, with a day of celebration comes expectation. My first official mother’s day was in 1979. We were transferring from Japan to Maine. We were staying at my friend’s home. She got me flowers. She made me breakfast. She spoiled me. I think I recall hubby getting me a vacuum cleaner. I think I gave hubby a dirty look.
Many of my mother’s days ended like that. Me giving hubby a dirty look. I don’t know why I did that, I’m not HIS mother.
Eventually, I decided that on Mother’s Day, we should do something as a family. No gifts, no fuss, just family time. We would go for a ride and then go for ice cream sundaes. Not bad thinking, really. Except when you have to drag your pre-teen daughters into a car for a ride. It’s not always a joy ride at first with two girls in the back seat of a car. Eventually they mellow out and offer a funny running commentary, but the first half hour is always painful. Many a time I reminded them not so gently, “Shut up, we’re having fun.” I may or may not have said shut up. I know I can look at them and sigh and the meaning comes through loud and clear.
The sundaes should be a wonderful part of the day. But, there was a long while that I really didn’t care for ice cream. Yes, I know that is un-American of me, but ice cream was not a favorite of mine. I knew my family loved ice cream though and if they were happy, I was happy.
As my girls got older, all I really cared for on Mother’s Day was to hear from them. I didn’t need gifts or flowers or even cards. But, I loved the phone calls or even the text messages. I came to the point of wishing I could be stuck in a car with them as they were snarky with each other.
Now, my girls are Moms. They are going through their determination of what makes a happy mother’s day. I hope they don’t have a day where they give dirty looks. I hope they have the right balance of joy of being a mom and the work that is involved in motherhood. They each bless me in watching them as mothers. I delight when I see my grandchildren doing things that make them roll their eyes.
No, I think each day gives me a celebration as a mom. Now, if I could only find some joy in cleaning a rental house that was filthy when I moved in. But, the guilt in me can’t leave it as is….. even though it is already cleaner than the day we moved here.
Thanks for listening… DAF