I love my children, and I love to be appreciated by them. I do not want them to misunderstand what I am going to write and think they are off the hook.
I don’t really like Mother’s Day.
There I said it. I wrote it for everyone to read. Children, read the first sentence again and again.
Here’s what I’m thinking: Mother’s Day is too filled with pressure and expectations.
We will be watching a video at church on Sunday featuring a Bible reading mother who raises a loving and gracious son. It’s a nice video. My pastor described it as a “tear jerker.” He’s probably right, but for what reason? How many of my fellow congregants are going to watch that video and cry because their mother was not a Bible reader but an abuser. Or worse — a Bible reader and an abuser? Abandoned them? Out rightly favored another child? Abused alcohol and/or drugs? Died? Rules to this day with guilt and martyrdom?
How many mothers will grieve for children who have gone? How many will cry because the chance to be a mother never came?
I love my own mother and mother-in-law, but I resent being forced to show them I love them on this one day. I want them to know I love them everyday. Why must I buy an overpriced card they will immediately recycle which will inadequately express my complicated feelings of love and appreciation for them?
What I would really like for Mother’s Day are boys who put their clothes down the laundry chute and their endless dishes in the dishwasher. Perhaps, also, they could happily eat what I cook for dinner without analyzing it, sniffing it and declaring it inedible because it is shaped like a meatball instead of a hamburger patty. That would show me Mother’s Day love.
Yet, how will I deny myself the small marigold plant I know is growing in the kindergarten window? I have, in a box upstairs, a little stick with dirt still clinging on it from one little first grade or second grade kid who now teaches kindergarten himself. It has my name written on it and it was stuck in a marigold plant. He’d made so many things for his own mother, he thought I should have something too as his new stepmother. I wasn’t expecting it. I wasn’t expecting anything. I tried not to cry.
I planted that little marigold like a prize winning black orchid.
Motherhood comes with all sorts of unwritten rules and expectations and emotions for both mother and child. Even though it doesn’t always look like it, I think most of us are doing our best as mothers and as children.
Most likely very few think about Mother’s Day as hard as I do. They just buy their cards and don’t worry about it.
Oh, well. There will be just enough time to recover before Father’s Day comes along.