Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

Mother's Day was good. It isn't my favorite holiday. It is a little contrived and some of the sentiment is pretty forced, but it was a good day here in my world.

I think the best thing about Mother's Day is that little people really get into it and really seem to love an opportunity to express their sweet, pure love for their mothers, and their grandmothers too. In our family we have never made a big deal about Mothers Day or Fathers Day. We know how we feel about each other. This morning we went to breakfast with my daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. I got cards and a beautiful potted lily. The cards were the best. My granddaughter, who has recently learned to read and write, loves having the ability to express herself in writing, in her own words. She wrote on my handmade card, "for all the time youve bin aliv, here is a speshle secret. I love you. Happy Mothers Day to Terry from Sofia."  The sweetness of that—what can I say? My son and daughter both posted pictures on Facebook and wished me a happy Mothers Day. That was plenty.

Here are my girls—daughter Emily and granddaughter, Sofia, at breakfast this morning. I didn't take a picture of my guys this morning, but I have a son, Andy and grandson, Marco as well. Here they are are several weeks ago.

Marco adores his Uncle Andy, who makes silly faces for him.

While Mothers Day is a day to be thankful for these special-to-me people, I also remember my own mother, who I miss dearly, and I know it is a day that isn't so great for everyone. I can't help but think of those whose mothers weren't so loving, and those who are not mothers, by choice or fortune, and saddest of all, those mothers who have lost their children. This day must be an agony for them. I have friends in all these categories, and I know they are left out of the rosy Mothers Day schmalzy-ness, despite their nurturing, motherly spirits.

To be a mother is everything and nothing. Everything, in the way it changes you. Someone said being a mother (a parent) is like having your heart walking around outside your body. I have never heard anything that more accurately describes the sense of vulnerability and helplessness and connectedness of being a parent. Forever after, you are connected, for better or worse, to your child, feeling every hurt and every joy they experience. And, in a more prosaic way, parenthood is nothing—the inevitable biological imperative. It is what humans do and the way the species continues, not much different from worms and birds and fish and monkeys. But, as a human mother I can't help but think about the profound meanings and consequences and rewards and liabilities of motherhood.

Whether a mother or not, I hope you had a good day today, and I hope you have people to love, who love you in return. That's all that really counts.


  1. You do have a way with words - great post.

  2. What a lovely post. You always nail it in the most eloquent way. Beautiful family too.
    We had my DIL's family and they made a BBQ for us. Such fun to have a house full of people.

  3. Anonymous6:09 AM

    I've been truly blessed with three wonderful daughters and I had a terrific mother. My Mothers Day was low-key and perfect. I totally agree with your thoughts on this 'holiday'. You really hit the nail on the head!! It's nice to be appreciated and all, but being a mom was what I wanted to do and I tried to do my best. Having my children in my life is reward enough for me.

  4. our approach to holidays is, at best, erratic. Mother's day has been no different -- in fact, we decided it was "mothering" day and should include all those nurturing relatives and friends who surround us. "Include" being mostly a mental thing, mentally saying thank you and feeling grateful. The commercial hype, of course, drives us batty.

    On the other hand, I have come to love the photos that appear on FB around this time. They are always wonderful, the more candid the better. The old ones particularly make me happy.

    And of course, my own dear daughter appeared this year; we have in the past gone running on M Day, but this year it was a bouquet and tea and a comment from her son, who said he was so grateful he could stay home and study and didn't have to appear to congratulate everyone on being a mother. But he sent me a FB note anyway, and I thought that was very special. Erratic means that when it happens it's more meaningful.

    So there, I got to say all the things I wanted to say about mothering day; thanks, Terry, for giving me all this space:-) and --snort--

  5. I have always been so ambivalent about Mother's Day even as a child I hated it. My relationship with my mother was awful and I had to pretend it was great, it always made me queasy. As my children grew their sweetness was so appreciated but I must have given them the message that I really don't like this forced holiday. Being a perverse human being however, I feel sad that the day passes with no acknowledgment from my grown children. It's a no win situation. My sweet husband took me to the movies and lunch for distraction and so the day passed - whew!