I’m going to confess: I’m not a fan of Mother’s Day. Hopefully it’s understandable given my mom died when I was nine (see my February tribute to her). Because I was so young my memories of her are dim, so no Mother’s Day reflections of good times or loving tributes to the fabulous relationship we had. It was the relationship a nine year-old had with her mom: often times great but sometimes a (hidden) rolling of eyes when she told me I couldn’t do something I wanted.
I’m not the only one who feels this way. One of my best friends lost her mom 10 years ago after battling a long illness. My friend was an adult so had many more years with her mother than I; you’d think she would definitely be the one who would celebrate Mother’s Day with fond memories. The first Mother’s Day after her mom’s death, she called me to go to the mall to get her mind off of her grief. As we walked through the mall we saw families in restaurants celebrating mom, store specials for Mother’s Day, moms and daughters walking with bags in hand. Looking back, probably not the best place to go to try and forget Mother’s Day. Over drinks, we formed the “Motherless Child Club” (motto: we’re not looking for new members) and decided we no longer liked Mother’s Day.
I thought my feelings would change when I became a mother but they didn’t. They did mellow a little where I can tolerate it a little more, and yes the hand-made school cards are very cute keepsakes. But when my husband asks “what do you want to do for Mother’s Day?” I just shrug and say “whatever”. Don’t get me wrong–I absolutely love being a mom. But since my mom’s been gone over 20 years Mother’s Day brings me sadness instead of joy. And it probably doesn’t help that my mother-in-law, to whom I became very close over the 14 years I knew her, also died in 2008.
My girlfriend hasn’t changed her opinion though. I still call her to check in and cheer her up, and since she is a mother of a 5 year-old I acknowledge her honored position in life. Maybe both of our outlooks will change as our children get older and we are more than just “mommy”. Maybe it’ll change when we’re also a friend, confidant and advisor to our kids. Maybe my opinion will change when I have the kind of relationship with Beverly that I’ve always wanted to have with my mom.