You are probably vaguely aware that Mother’s Day is on Sunday. I want you to know I love the hot plate, or potted flower, or handprint, or whatever you made me. I will treasure it just as I treasure all the things you give me – every stick figure portrait, every impromptu song, and every short-stemmed flower you’ve stopped to pluck from the ground. I treasure these things, but only a fraction as much as I treasure you each and every day.
I’m telling you this because I don’t want you to mistake my lack of Mother’s Day enthusiasm as having anything to do with you. In fact, the only reason Mother’s Day is even bearable is thanks to you. This is just one of the many weird things about your mom that will make you scratch your head and roll your eyes from now until the day you understand.
As you know my mom, your grandmother, died before you were born. Maybe I’m being cynical, but, for me, Mother’s Day is really just an agitating reminder of this. There are a lot of agitating reminders, but Mother’s Day is by far the most egregious. The brunches, the cards, the commercials, the flowers – they all make me feel like I’m the Grinch and the world is singing “fahoo fores” while I’m up on a frozen mountain with my self-pity and a dog in a reindeer disguise.
But I’m not alone on the mountain, there are tons of people up there. Some of them are trying to ‘make the best of it’ and some of them are trying to ignore the day altogether. They’ve lost mothers, grandmothers, children, and/or pregnancies and most of them feel emotions ranging anywhere from a tinge of longing to a desire to stay in bed until the day has passed.
I must admit, I feel ashamed of my negative attitude because I truly have so much to be grateful for. I have you girls, I have a wonderful mother-in-law, and I have the love and support of many strong and beautiful mothers. Yet still, I can’t seem to shake my bitterness at other mother-daughter duos, my desire to ‘not make a fuss’ over the day, and my tendency to ‘get my dates mixed up’ and ‘accidentally’ take a shift at work.
You know it used to annoy me when people blew off Valentine’s Day or other Hallmark holidays with the “I don’t need a special day to love and appreciate someone” excuse. I thought they were probably just trying to get out of buying a heart-shaped box of chocolates, but now I find myself invoking the exact same excuse.
Girls, I want you to know I’m thankful for you each and every day and I feel your love and appreciation in every smile, every kiss, and every embrace. You’re the reason I get up in the morning, you’re the reason I fold 10 baskets of laundry a week, and you’re the reason I’ve watched 8 volumes of Harry Potter 3 times each (just kidding, that’s all me).
I can’t promise you I’ll enjoy Mother’s Day this year or possibly ever, but I can promise you I will try and look for the joy…just as I ought to every day. Some things will make me sad, but I promise to try and balance this with the recognition of things that make me grateful and remind me that my mother’s spirit is all around.
You make me proud,