It isn’t that I don’t honor mother’s everywhere. Mother’s are the greatest invention since… well, sliced bread. Never mind that they baked it themselves. They say life came with a mother instead of a manual. They see all, know all, do all. Mother’s are selfless, noble, patient, loving, gentle, thoughtful, thrifty and kind. Like a boy scout but better. These and other delightful adjectives aren’t just sprinkled about on Mother’s Day they are showered in great gushes of admiration. Stories of devotion and sacrifice immerse mothers great and small. I know the protocol of a mother is to lay back, bathe in the cascade and bask in the rush.
But I have a difficult time doing that. Maybe I suppress it the other 364 days of the year but Mother’s Day is the day I feel the most inadequate. Maybe it's because I’ve been there firsthand to see the times I’ve taken the larger portion of pie, the middle of the cake, the edges of the brownies. I’ve seen up close and personal the times I’ve yelled at my kids, shut up or I’ll rip your lips off! I’m overly vocal about my disgust for boogers and poop and I throw up in my mouth when I hear that “Love at Home” song. I don’t enjoy babysitting like real mothers do and ohmygosh I’ve heard my language! Nobody has ever called me frugal because money was made to spend and leftovers aren’t really my forté. Another thing is-- I usually get my own way. So I’m really nothing like the mothers I hear about in church or see on FakeBook.
You can love me or hate me for saying so but I’ll take Arbor Day, Earth Day, Pi Day, Braille Day, Groundhog Day or Epiphany Day (actually Mother’s Day and Epiphany Day are close) above Mother’s Day.
Because my family knows this about me, last year they decided to change my outlook. They gathered around and each of my seven children, their spouses and 23 grandchildren shared a memory or quality they thought I possess. It was the most incredible Mother’s Day experience ever. Somehow, only a year later I can’t remember a single thing that was said. Like good and bad cholesterol, Mother’s day plugs up my ability to remember the good so the bad steps in front and center to take a bow.
It took me awhile to appreciate the magnificence of my own mother. Now that she’s gone it’s easy to see that she was indeed selfless, noble, patient, loving, gentle, thoughtful, thrifty and kind. It gives me hope that I’m merely blind to my own motherly phenomena. When I’m dead I’ll probably relish Mother’s Day. Just kidding, that’s not what I meant. I meant that… oh, you know.
Now for my advice: If you really want to show your mother how much she means to you on Mother’s Day, here’s an original idea: Bring her breakfast in bed. And don’t worry about the syrup spills and toast crumbs, she’ll launder the sheets and vacuum the floor.