It’s Mother’s Day and I have my usual ambivalence.
Both of us are mothers, both of us no longer have mothers. My motherhood began nearly exactly when my mother left this planet. I have never known a mother’s day when I could enjoy being a mother and having a mother.
Probably because of this, I find the day sad, irritating, stereotyped (does everyone go to brunch on Mother’s Day? Are there any other thoughts here?) and surprising when it comes upon me..this is a measure of my denial.
I feel compelled to tell people that not all mothers are loving, kind, self-sacrificing and attentive. In fact, no mother is these things at all times, and all mothers can be hateful, mean, and self absorbed at least some of the time. The experience of “mother” is one of loss and longing as well as joy and contentment and feeling cared for.
This is an unpopular message. The smiling lady with the apron and the pie, let’s just focus on that.
I’ve led you straight into a quagmire with this one, because it’s my belief that the word “mother” is one of the most loaded words in our language. We love and hate “mother”, women loathe to be like their own mothers, then realize cultivating their mothers’ best qualities may be their highest aspiration. What a load to carry for those of us who choose to mother someone, usually our own infants.
Maybe after all the “non-mothers” should hand us a rose at the local Brunch R Us on this May Sunday, where here at least the sun is bright and the flowers are blooming.
I’m not known for making stuff easy though.
So let’s here it, my literary friend. What do you think of “mother”?
And by the way, Happy Mother’s Day.