Tomorrow is what some consider to be a Hallmark holiday. Ann Lamott hates it. Husband’s not a fan. First Son thinks it’s kind of coercive, and therefore meaningless, like being forced to apologize. Several of my friends on facebook have linked to Ann’s article disparaging it, uttering comments of agreement.
I read the article, thought about it, tried really hard to see her point, and then decided that she was kind of missing it.
Like, a lot.
Yes, mother’s day is probably difficult for women who would have liked to have had children, and for whatever reason, did not. Yes, mother’s day will probably be difficult for women who have lost their mothers (Me! Me!), or who had children and have lost them one way or another (tragic death, estranged relationships).
But is it necessarily true that honoring something that is, in fact, quite important, is dishonoring everybody else?
And just because something might be difficult for some people does that mean it should be vilified? There are tragedies and losses every day, sometimes even on national holidays; do we all avoid any possible reference to any possible reminder to any possible pain?
Husband thinks Mother’s Day is a pathetic excuse for pathetic people who treat their mothers with apathy at best and disdain at worst 364 days of the year, and palliate their consciences one day in May by buying grocery-store bouquets and offering to mow the lawn.
I agree, and think that all children everywhere should honor and appreciate and help their mothers at every possible opportunity.
There are a lot of people I think of as my “mothers” besides my mom. My mother-in-law for example, who has recently agreed to “adopt” me (thanks, mom!), my sisters, my best friends Jackie and Jill and Yelena and Meghan, my husband, who loves me and nurtures me and seems to always see the best possible version of me there is. I, likewise, feel that I am “mother” to many people — my friends, my husband, my students, my children.
We would all love to be honored and appreciated and thanked regularly; but we’re busy people, and we forget.
Is it really such an awful thing to thank all of those people who have loved us and nurtured us and always tried to see the best possible version of us that there is?
I don’t think so.
I imagine that all of those women out there who don’t have good relationships with their mothers, or whose mothers are no longer with them, or who have never had children, or who don’t have good relationships with their children, I imagine that all of those women have been “mothers” and “daughters” to other women, other people, would like to be honored, and thanked. Let’s broaden the definition, let’s broaden the scope.
And thank all mothers, everywhere.