Friday, May 09, 2008

Mother's Day

It’s that time of year again. The time of year I dread.

Taxes? Nope, not taxes. Taxes are in the mail. Well, Net Filed, anyway.

I’m talking, of course, about Mother’s Day. I hate Mother’s Day.

The short version: It’s the late 80’s, I am 12. Dad and Mom decide to divorce. Mom wants to go work in another province. Dad says no way, and they launch a horrible, messy custody battle in which Dad gets full custody of all five of us. Mom takes off anyway.

For the first few years, we would send Mother’s Day gifts and cards, funded by Dad, and there would be an awkward phone call in which Mom would laugh bitterly, “thanks, but I’m no mother,” launching into yet another tirade about divorce, paternalistic society and child custody (wash, rinse, repeat for the next 20+ years).

One year, Mom even returned one of the gifts my sister had made in high school shop class for her. We sort of half-heartedly joke about it now, but I know it hurt my sister profoundly.

And somewhat recently, I found out that she doesn't open any of our gifts, Mother's Day or otherwise. She says she can’t handle it. It hurts to much. Something about mocking a motherhood that never existed. So I just stopped sending anything.

I did start giving Mother’s Day gifts and cards to my step mom, but I’ll admit my attempts were half-hearted at best. They married when I was already grown up and to be honest, I did it for my dad than my step mom. He wanted to be reassured by that connection, so I guess I pretended it was there. No skin off my back. And she’s a nice lady. She tried.

But she never was my mother. And to be honest, this day still holds a tiny bit of sting for me. I don't look forward to it.

That said, people I really, really like have become mothers themselves in the last couple of years. This year, in particular. And I have a new Mother-in-Law who I like more and more as time goes on. And this all makes me very happy.

So, to all of you moms and mom-types out there, Happy Mother's Day.

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2 comments:

Anonymous Anonymous ~ 8:34 PM

Just so you know I don't like mother's day either and I'm a mom. I would rather have 365 days of being appreciated, not one stinking day.

I do love my children and I am very thankful for the gifts they have made me but I just can't get excited about corporate holidays.

Maybe someday I will be eager to celebrate mother's day.

Tina  


Blogger bstockton ~ 4:03 PM

I agree. What's the point of a day where we all call our mothers, not because we want to, but because we feel obligated. We do our best not to celebrate either mother's day or father's day in our house.

Of course we have to celebrate it at my parent's house, not because we want to, but because we feel obligated.

I was curious so I just looked at wikipedia on the subject, because I too assumed it was a corporate creation. Anyway, there's some interesting stories there and some interesting history, but certainly it exists today primarily to sell flowers and long distance calls.

Humbug.  


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