Today's that day right? The one where people are supposed to bring me coffee in bed and flowers and pay homage to the sacrifice known as motherhood. I don't have the coffee or the flowers but I honestly don't care, my kids made some cute sappy shit at their schools and I'll probably treasure it forever and frame it and it will make me cry and hug them more and be all reflective and annoying about the things I'm f-ing up and the little I get right. And oh my God time is flying so fast. But Rowan couldn't pour a cup of coffee without creating a mess I'd later have to clean up and I put cream and sugar in it and that's just too much to expect of my 9 year old, so I'll be glad to get my own.
So why do I feel so sad. As I'm trolling the land of Facebook, seeing all these beautiful tributes to mothers, I feel something akin to grief. It's illogical. My mom is here, we have a good relationship, I love how involved she is in my children's lives. Two of my three grandmothers are still living and hey I even remembered cards for them this year and made time to see one of them last evening. So where is the grief coming from? What is nagging at my spirit that's making me sit and say: this holiday, I'm not so sure about it.
It could be the commercialism. It could be that there's this pressure that surrounds holidays like Mother's Day that I hate. I have felt it for my mom and in the future when my children are old enough they will feel it for me. The need to get everything RIGHT for her or for me. The need to somehow make up for this unrepayable sacrifice. It just breeds inadequacy, am I right? How do we ever make up for the sleepless nights, and for what we did to our mother's bodies, or for the worry. Oh my god, the worry! How do we repay them for that? For us just being a straight up punk as a teenager. Or for the college loans they took out so we could have a better future. How do we ever repay for the early mornings and late nights our mothers spent baking some treat for our class or making sure we weren't the only kid without a present for a teacher?
You can't repay that with a spa treatment, with a greeting card. We could send our mothers on an all expenses paid trip for a month and we wouldn't begin to touch it. And I guess I'm sad because dammit, I don't want that pressure for my children. I'm not making this sacrifice with my life so they can repay me. I am not making it because I want "credit" on the other side of this. Whenever the hell the other side begins. Would it be cool if when they're 30 they all told me I was right about everything at some point? Well sure. But when they grow up and move away (because littles, I will insist you leave me) I want them to be doing more important things in their lives than having some societally imposed guilt about whether or not I know they appreciated it all.
The thing about being a mom, that heartbeat that pounds out just slightly differently for us, is that we're not doing it for you, children. We're not doing it for the fame or the glory, or the credit. We're doing it because YOU are the gift. It was the longing inside of us to experience you that got you to this earth to begin with. Your voice, the grace and gift of your PRESENCE, the fact that we get to stand on the sidelines and watch you grow, that is all gift, my littles. I don't need you to go to the store and buy me flowers. Yes, they are beautiful and I love them. But I could never treasure those flowers nearly as much as the memory of seeing you hit your first home run in baseball, or watching you learn how to write your name, or you figuring out that you love guacamole. Those things they are more than enough gift for me. My heart aches for all the children out there struggling to figure out how to make it up to mom. There's no need babies. Not for me anyway.
My heart also hurts today for the friends, the women I know and whom I have never met, who have longed to be a mother. Somehow this holiday just seems so colossally self-focused and insensitive, it's all about me! Look at me, I'm a mom and some how that makes me better? Not even close, my friends, not even close. I'm not more of a woman because I grew some short people inside of me. You are as unique and worthy of celebration as any of us. It makes me bristle and want to sit with my sisters and hold them and say I'm so sorry. I can't know your pain today, but I'm willing to hear it. I'd gladly forgo the mother's day bunch someone thinks I deserve to help feel like you are not less of a woman because no one here calls you mom. What a colossal bunch of crap.
As I sit here feeling, all. the. feelings. I hope that more than a few of us can look beyond ourselves today and sit and listen to another. Much love friends. Go hug someone. I could use a few extra myself.