Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. This is the first time both kids are gone. That’s OK. Not a sad thing, really. I am wondering what they might send me. Last year my highly competent daughter mobilized for flowers. This year she’s getting ready to graduate from college. Lot on her mind. And my son is still suffering from the testosterone poisoning that causes all teenage boys to disappear into a hormonal haze where they remain mute and bemused until one day when you least expect it they emerge as a man, tall, kind, and ready to take care of a family. At least, that’s the story I tell myself.
I am wondering what they might send me.
If I am honest, what I would really like is a parade. Or a surprise party. A huge surprise party with balloons and streamers and confetti and noise. With a towering cake that says “To The Best Mother In The World Whom We Love With All Our Hearts.” Toasts that bring tears to your eyes. Maybe a song written especially for the occasion.
On the other hand, what would happen after that party? It’s not like a major birthday or anniversary. You aren’t marking a stage in time. You are their mother from the moment they are conceived until the day you die. And then you are still their mother and you live on in their memories every time they say to their children, “My mother used to…” It’s not like you are more their mother after 21 years than after 21 seconds. I’m not sure you get any better at it over time either. You can only be as a good of a mother as you are a person. And getting better as a person is pretty tough.
Most likely the motherhood parties are in fact your kids’ celebrations. Their weddings. Their graduations. And everyone looks at your kid and claps and makes toasts. And you sit in the back and from the way you feel they could just as well be clapping for you.
However I am not completely self-sacrificial. Come Mother’s Day, I can make do without the parade. But I’d like some flowers or a massage gift card. Or something. You know, deep love, meaning of life, and opening of the universe aside, being a mother is still a lot of work. Which reminds me. Please go get your mom a present. Even if it’s little. Unless you are up for throwing a parade this year. In which case please go find a brass band right away before they are all booked up.