Every year I post about Mother’s Day–and how I don’t do it.
I don’t post about the emotional anticipation of the anniversary of Mom’s death that I have starting at the end of February. I don’t post about my awareness of Mom and Dad’s anniversary on April 3. I don’t post about how I remember Mom and care for myself on April 26. I don’t post about how I tend to still be in aftershock one week later on May 3, what would be Mom’s birthday–how I try to come up with a way to celebrate her then…and usually fail. I usually only post about Mother’s Day. Perhaps because I have no say in how that day plays out. I can navigate the rest of the dates on my terms and in ways that are meaningful for me. On Mother’s Day, I have no say. It is foisted upon me whether I want it or not. And usually, I don’t want it.
I tell my people every year that I still don’t do Mother’s Day–even since I’ve become a mother. Yet, I still get cards and the Mother’s Day greetings that make most women happy and honored. This year’s card from the in-laws came on Friday. It was a Hallmark Mahogany card, which make me chuckle a little. It was a typical card from them–very nice and thoughtful, but not what I need or want. Yesterday, I got a card in the mail from a friend who chose a card that was motherly but one where you wrote the message yourself. She told Ryan to “strike a pose” and took a picture of him. She included the picture and focused her note on him and how blessed he was to have me as his mother.
Al and I were on the deck and talking about this whole Mother’s Day thing. I said, “There’s no getting away from this, is there?”
“Nope. Ryan and I really love you and appreciate what you do and we want to let you know that.”
“I get that and I appreciate that. But couldn’t it be on some other day?”
Later on, last night, Al handed me a card and said, “You can open this now. You can open it later. You can put it away and never open it. But I wanted to get this for you.”
I went ahead and opened it. It was perfect. Absolutely perfect. It acknowledged my not wanting to celebrate but his wanting to let me know how much I mean to him. And I didn’t get it on Mother’s Day.
I asked him later how Ryan got to be so gung ho about Mother’s Day. Al said, “Well…he came to me one day and said, ‘You know Mom’s Day is coming, right, Dad? Well, I have money…and I want to buy her a card.”
Al said, “How can you say no to that?!”
As I wiped away a few tears, I agreed.
I still don’t go to church on Mother’s Day. Instead, I went for a 5 mile run at the lake. The weather was PERFECT and it was the best 5 miles I’d done lately. I thought about Mom and how I wished she were here to join us for the festivities later on today. I think she’d really like the place we’re going for brunch–though she probably wouldn’t get into Iron Man 2 as much. And then I thought about being a mom, and how I haven’t really embraced that part of my identity. I certainly love and care about Ryan. I say he’s mine and ours–because he is. But I don’t usually think of myself as a mom. Until now.
So this Mother’s Day, I’ll allow some recognition of me as a mother. And I’ll embrace it a little, too.