I know Mother’s Day has come and gone, but these words have been swirling around my head for most of this week. So here it goes…
I never liked Mother’s Day growing up. I didn’t have a bad mother or anything like that to make me dislike that day. So now that I’ve cleared that up, here’s why I didn’t like Mother’s Day: it made my mom sad, which made me sad. I was a child then and a bit selfish in my thinking and how I saw things. My mom was sad because she was never with her mom on Mother’s Day. And she wouldn’t come to church either. I didn’t like sitting in church watching other families pay tribute to their moms, while my mom was at home. And the one Sunday she did come for Mother’s Day, was when I got asked to write and recite a poem for that day. But she was late and had to sit in the overflow, so in my mind, my mother failed me the one time I really needed her. But we’ll come back to that later.
Now that I’m a mother, I still don’t really care for the day, by man oh man, do I understand the sadness my mother felt See, it’s not that my mother didn’t want to be present on Mother’s Day, it was that she missed her mother’s presence. While we were in California, my grandmother was in Louisiana. My childish mindset was, “Get over it, you made the decision to move. Get over it, you have children of your own now.” Did I ever mention how much of a jerk I was growing up?
Anyway, we still made the best of Mother’s Day. We got my mom gifts and cards and had dinner. But I let her being sad and not coming to church overshadow the joy I could have had on those days. But I’m not a child anymore. I’m a grown woman with two beautiful little terrors I get to call my children and I understand my mom a little more. I understand her sadness. And I was wrong to get mad at her for something I had no ability to comprehend. I ignored the fact that my mother was alive and well and a human being with feelings and I was not gracious. Now, I’m not beating myself up because I was child and I comprehended the world around me the way a child would. But this past Mother’s Day, I understood my mother’s feelings. We don’t live thousands of miles apart, but we’re five hours away from each other and that’s still too great a distance for me.
So back to that time my mom was late coming to church and had to sit in overflow and I was mad at her for it. There are two things I never took away from that until fourteen years after it happened. The first was that my mom was there for me even when I didn’t see her. Every word I recited, she heard, and she was proud of me. The second was that my mom was there for me…period! On her good days, on her bad days, she was there. And I want to be there for my children like she was there for me.
I don’t care for Mother’s Day because I don’t feel like there should be one day out of the year where everyone makes a really big deal about their mom. A really big deal should be made about mother’s every day of the year! This year, Mother’s Day was special because I had two children where last year I had one! This year Mother’s Day was special because I get to hear myself be called, “Mommy.” This year Mother’s Day was special because my love and admiration for my own mother grew even more. I want to be there for my children the way my mother was and is there for me.