Wednesday, May 05, 2010

why i hate mother's day

There are currently four pairs of shoes on the living room floor (and one pair of socks). A sippee cup has rolled under the armoire. A mostly unraveled slinky is stretched out beside a snack blanket, that is partially obstructing my view of a toddler fork under it (really? I put away the snack plate but didn't put away the snack fork too? I didn't want to just go ahead and fold up the snack blanket while I was at it? Why did I do that?), and a pretend dust buster has been abandoned by the chair (If you ever want to make some money, create toy vacuums and dust busters that work, friends). And this is me, blogging instead.

Because I am determined - determined! - to reclaim a quiet hour in my day.

Since I'm abandoning the living room to utter decline so enthusiastically, this seems like a good time to tell you why I hate Mother's Day.

(my mother in bunny ears, as every grandmother should be)

Mother's Day is beautiful. It is timed well, with everything blooming and the air warm, but not yet suffocating. And the idea behind it - a day to honor our mothers, as well as those who have nurtured us - is honorable. But herein lies my problem. Mother's Day is a time for me to say, "Thank you, Mom, for growing me in your womb even in the year when abortion was at its peak and it was not the most convenient time for you to have a baby. Thank you for teaching me that self-confidence is the most attractive attribute of a woman. Thank you for sharing with me the beauty you see in poetry and for all of the time I spent at your mother's house, developing my love for the outdoors. Thanks for supporting me in college. Thanks for all the piano lessons, and for the rides home from band practices. Thanks for always going to those terrible band concerts in junior high school. As a sign of my appreciation, I bought you a coffee mug."

It's just - ridiculous.

(Silas, showing his intense love for his MeMa by putting his entire - substantial - body weight into giving her a kiss. He LOVES his MeMa.)

Or, to my mother-in-law -

"Thanks, Linda, for teaching your son to wash his own clothes. Thanks for teaching him to value time over money. Thanks for buying him a guitar the Christmas he was seventeen. Thanks for all of the bibs, onesies, t-shirts, shoes, books, and tractors that you give to my children almost daily. Thanks for babysitting all the time, and for being a constant source of love and affection for your grandchildren. Thanks for being calm with babies, so that I could learn to be, too. Thanks for answering my questions when Asher was a baby without making me feel stupid, and for meeting me at the pediatrician's office more than once. I am a better mother because of you. And to honor you, I am giving you pretty hand lotion."


It just doesn't fit.

The mothers in my life make my life immeasurably better. How am I supposed to spend twenty bucks and accurately convey all of that? And whose idea was it, anyway, to always say thank you with a purchased gift? Could I make you a cake instead, or maybe vacuum your living room?

Because hand lotions and coffee mugs just don't cut it.

Love you guys.


Anonymous said...

You just gave me the best Mother's Day gift in the world by your sweet, loving, words. No other gift is needed. Thank you, I love you more than I can say.

Lisa said...

Indeed! Around here, Grandmas get hand-made picture cards (of Olivia) and a freshly baked (by me) pie for Mother's Day. And a visit, which means the most to both of them. Time is the best gift, after all.

(Oh, and this year, Olivia's old enough to make crafts...ish. So she made something for her grandmas. That will be treasured more than anything we could buy.)

Anonymous said...

I guess you know that the first comment is from me. I don't know why it says anonymous. I keep reading your blog, it makes me feel like a million bucks. You are precious to me.
Love you,

Mrs. Shehane said...

A daughter who loves family,
who has the unique gift of art and balance,
who loves life and others more than herelf,
who sees the heart of truth in a mammoth
of tangled chaos,
a gift from the very beginning,
whose very eyes are life and love,
who has the gift of sharing
and caring,
a daughter is the perfect gift --
my daughter, Stephanie.- Love, Mama

Mrs. Shehane said...

PS -- No lotion needed.

Sean said...

Stephanie....loved the blog post so much when Mandi read it to me I quoted you on it in my note to my mom and Mandi. Thanks for the encouragement and truthful words!
-Sean Miller

wheelsonthebus said...

you also gave them this post :)