I survived Mother’s Day.
A day in which gifts and praise are expected by mothers across the country. A day in which you have to at least be nice to your mother if you don’t normally get along, a day in which you have to surround yourself with all of the mothers in your family and pretend that you like each other. A day in which you have to mass text all of your friends who are mothers and wish them a Happy Mother’s Day and tag all 250 mothers on your Facebook page and wish them a Happy Mother’s Day with some sappy bullshitty quote and a picture of red roses garnished with baby’s breath.
I am a mother.
I didn’t receive a gift from my daughter because she’s five. She missed the day at school where all the children made their mommy’s a gift. When she came home and told me that she wasn’t able to make a gift for me like all of the other children did, I just gave her a hug and explained that gifts aren’t important. All I wanted for mother’s day was a hug and a kiss and to spend time with her. Then I walked into the bathroom and cried. I cried because I didn’t want my daughter to feel left out. I cried because I’ve been an emotional wreck lately. I cried because, for weeks, I had been looking forward to seeing what she was going to make for me because I LOVE it when she comes home and brings me a drawing or some craft her teacher had her do. What the hell is wrong with me? This day is not important. There are women who aren’t given the opportunity to be a mother. There are women who will never hear a child yell “MOMMMMYYYYYY” in excitement, when they get home from work. There are women who will never have the opportunity to feel those little hands on their face, telling them how beautiful they are, or those little arms wrapped around their neck. There are some who will never experience a long car ride with their toddler who talks too much about everything and nothing at all. Who sings their little heart out to Katy Perry. Who will tell everyone your address, phone number, what school they go to, your natural hair color and the fact that you have funny lines on your body when you’re naked.
I am a mother every day. I am blessed every day.
My mother is a mother every day. So why on this day, did I feel the need to spend the entire day with her and buy her a gift? My mother and I don’t exactly get along, but she is my mother. I should try to spend time with her every week. I should buy her flowers to show my appreciation for her just because. I should keep our conversations cordial all the time, despite her stubbornness and snarky comments. Why? because she’s my mother. Not everyone gets the opportunity to have their mother around. Not every one has the chance to call their mother when they’re in need of a babysitter. Not every one has a mother to call them over for dinner because she knows you’re struggling with money that month. Not every one has a mother to put them in their place when they’re out of line. Or tell them they’re failing but that’s okay, it’ll get better. A mother who will teach you about life through her own experiences. One who will call you every sibling’s name except your own. One who will say things about you but drop kick anyone else who talks about you. One who will tell you you’re getting too skinny or too fat or too mouthy or too blonde or too tan. Mom’s aren’t all perfect, they’re not all Brady Bunch quality. But the ones who try, who stick around through all the bullshit, who work their asses off, the single ones, the ones in abusive relationships, the ones who don’t always bring you up but when they do something in you changes. They’re worth it too. They are all worth it.
My mom is worth it. Every day. I have to be better about reminding myself that, because when she’s gone. She’s gone. That’s it. There will be no turning back, there will be no frequent visits, or see you laters. Or random trips with my daughter to the GoodWill. Or letting my daughter have all the cookies she wants. Or surprising me at my grandmother’s house when I show up to take Victoria to school because she knows just by taking her to school for me is a huge load off of my shoulders. For that day anyway. Or telling me I’m stupid and I make stupid choices because that’s her way of encouraging me to be responsible and telling me that she knows I’m capable of much, much more. Or telling me it’s ridiculous how photogenic I am. Or telling me to leave my job and find something more rewarding because I’m selling myself short. Or telling me how sometimes I remind her of my father and she just wants to smack me because of it. All of these things will be gone. All of these moments will be nothing but memories and I’ll ask myself why? Why didn’t I change things when I had the chance? Why did I argue with her AGAIN? Why didn’t I just let it roll off of my back? Why didn’t I visit more? And I’ll regret it. And I’ll feel guilty. And I’ll cry and get angry and yell and she’ll be gone.
She’s here now, and I need to cherish that.
p.s. I got my hug and kiss for Mother’s Day and it was just as sweet and beautiful as it has always been and will always be.