May 8th: Mother’s Day
A cynic bemoans the fabricated Hallmark holiday, but like any good spin doctor knows….every one loves babies and puppies. And while Valentine’s day can be ignored or skirted or maligned, especially for those without companion or lover, Mother’s Day is not the day you really want to pick a fight with. Honestly, we all have mothers. Many of us are mothers. Many men have the resume for being the progenitor of said motherhood. And I love my mother.
Let me say that again with affection: I love my mother. She is an interesting and formidable woman. She is interesting because she has an identity and self-awareness that includes but is not limited to being my mother. She is from a generation that often defined themselves by mothering and motherhood. To have expanded her identity beyond her three daughters bespeaks of her strength.
I know my mother has always had a good and true heart. She loved us. Loves us. She boiled out cuts and pulled out teeth and packed lunches. She was on the PTA and a troop leader and a band parent. Plus, my mom worries over us. I am not sure if we simply gave her an abundance of worries or she has a worrying nature. Either way, she devoted energy and time to mothering us. Still does.
And while every person HAS a mother, so much of Mother’s Day is about BEING a mother. And I have dear and true friends who are not mothers. Most want to be mothers, feel called and desire motherhood. And unlike when my aunt & uncle adopted their two children and raised them as her own, adoption has become a far more complicated, expensive and treacherous affair. Way back when, adoption was a way to find “good homes” for babies born to unfortunate circumstances. Adoption now seems to require passports and attorneys and a constant dread that someone will change their minds, like the ink never dries and therefore the contract is not finalized. I can’t imagine that nagging dread nipping at the back of my mind.
As it is, like my mother, I worry about the two child to whom I gave birth. Am I doing all that I can? Are they content? Do they have decent heads on their shoulders? Will they thrive in life? Are they intelligent both intellectually AND emotionally? Will they have hunger and thirst for life? I am thankful they live in a country where children still play and have idle time. They are both funny and perceptive. And resilient. But will they be lead astray? What risks and pitfalls lie in their paths? Worries abound.
Today, I honor my mother. I honor my two sisters who are also mothers; we count nine children among us. One of those girls is married and has two children of her own. My grandmothers came from hearty stock and were tenacious in their own ways. I am proud and grateful for these women. And I wish each of them a very Happy Mother’s Day.