It’s Mother’s Day, and Mother’s Day is weird for me. It’s both very loaded and very meaningful.
I hear Danny’s voice, proclaiming Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as Hallmark holidays. Announcing that the days don’t matter; they were invented to sell greeting cards. This may be true, but nonetheless, Mother’s Day matters to me.
Mother’s Day matters to me because it used to be so hard. Things were tough with my mom. It seemed like Mother’s Day was a slap in the face that we couldn’t find a way to easily be together. It seemed like Mother’s Day was a reminder of what we missed. It seemed like Mother’s Day was a celebration of all the wonderful mother-daughter relationships…except mine. So much has changed.
Mother’s Day matters to me because I am, seemingly continuously, healing and building my relationship with my mother. We’ve healed it and built it a great deal already. We’re healing it and building it more. And more. And more. It’s not that I think it’s so messed up that it needs tons of healing. It’s just that we seem to keep finding ways to navigate and re-navigate. To work through things that we didn’t know were there. To build a deeper trust and more respect and love. To make up for lost time, even. Needless to say, we’ve been through a lot and ours is not the “normal” mother-daughter relationship, whatever that is. I suppose the standards don’t apply to us, whatever standards there are. But Mother’s Day is a chance for me to reflect on my relationship with my mother. To appreciate what we have right now. And to let her be my mother.
Mother’s Day matters to me because I define myself so much as a mother. Raising my kids, loving my kids, building a life around my kids – this has deepened my sense of who I am and who I want to be. The boundless, endless, indescribable love that I have for my children has taught me about love and taught me to love. It has taught me to accept love. They say that you heal yourself and your childhood through loving your children. I know I have. In the nearly eighteen years that I’ve been a mother I have learned and healed so much, just through the gift of mothering.
Mother’s Day matters to me because of my children. My son bought me a tomato plant for Mother’s Day, because I love tomatoes. My daughter sent me a gift and a beautiful card. It’s the first Mother’s Day that she’ll be away, but she’ll call and she’ll be in my heart. And the card made me cry.
Mother’s Day matters to me because I am so lucky. I’m lucky to mother my beloved children. I’m lucky to be able to hit the reset button with my mother, to build a better, stronger connection. I’m lucky for the umpteen other women who ‘mothered’ me through the years – my dad’s girlfriend who stayed with him longer than she would have, just to make sure I was okay; my dad’s friends who did what they could to care for me; my best friend’s mom who welcomed me into her home and heart my senior year of high school; my mother-in-law who would do anything she could for me, if I were to ask.
Mother’s Day is weird for me. And it’s special. It used to be a moment to mourn what I missed. Now it’s an opportunity to notice and call out what I have. It’s a chance to give love, receive love, and share love.
So to everyone, happy Mother’s Day!
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