My mother was not a fan of Mother's Day. Let me repeat--my mom, a mother of seven children born in ten years (no multiples! yup, nearly ten years pregnant straight through), did not like to celebrate Mother's Day. She insisted on no gifts and always tried to downplay this day designated to celebrate and thank our mamas. It wasn't that she didn't want to be appreciated for all her work or acknowledged for what she did for us. In fact, as we grew older and moved out of the house, my mom insisted that my siblings and I call her on our birthdays as a way of thanking her for her (big) part in making it our birthdays. Sure, come that Sunday in May, she would accept those grungy cards we made in elementary school, but she did not want any part in this Hallmark or other-commercial entity's holiday, puffing, "If you need a day to be nice to your mother..."
While I respect so much of what my mom did for us, my feelings are far different than hers were towards Mother's Day. Hell, I look forward to this day for months. It's not that I am waiting for flowers or jewelry or even breakfast in bed (but I do love, love, love it when P brings me coffee while I am still wrapped up in the sheets, prying my eyes open). While these are certainly kind and thoughtful gestures, I am not particularly interested. No, what we've established as our traditional way to celebrate Mother's Day fits me perfectly-- a day completely free of mothering. Yup. I'll happily take the boys' morning kisses, cuddles, and hugs, but then joyfully wave them off for the day, preferably waving from bed, still in my pajamas, with a steaming mug of coffee. I spend my Mother's Day alone, completely by myself, in my own home. Wow.
Before I had kids, I rarely yearned for time alone and would look for endless opportunities to hang with family and friends. However, in the last six years, there has been so little time by myself. If I am ever driving alone in the minivan, it startles me when I look in the review mirror and see the three empty carseats; it completely catches me off-guard since it it rarely happens. In fact, it is far more normal for me not only to be with at least one of my guys, but to have one of them physically hanging off me as if my life were a perpetual three-legged race. I can't even seek refuge in the bathroom given an apartment with one toilet for five people and little fellows who have yet to understand the concept of privacy. Now, I jump at the opportunity to go to the movies by myself or at least, hide in the bath with a book. But to be in my home, by myself, it really does not happen. So I say--- there should be more Mother's Days. Perhaps once a month? Every third month?
I do know that there will come a time when my boys are grown and busy hanging with others far more cool than I. And when this happens, I will hope to spend that designated May Sunday with my fellows. But it's like this-- One day I will also complain that my sons sleep until noon or that they are eating us out of house and home. But as they now wake too darn early and their dad and I actually beg them to eat a slice of pizza, I live for the days of late waking and big eating.
So here's to our current Mother's Day tradition. The day when I can sleep for as long as I want, laze in bed with a good book, watch whatever I want on TV, and the only bum I need to wipe is my own. Yes, I married a good man. He need not buy me diamonds and pearls. Just take our sons and go away!
So for this I say, Yes, we need a day to be nice to your mother or at least to this mother. I sure wish I could say this to my own mom. If only I knew this, if I had been a mom, when I lost mine...