If there was ever a holiday that was set up to make people feel badly, it is Mother’s Day. With the incessant commercials and advertisements running on tv, the internet and the papers, we are all being brain-washed to expect or feel obligated to celebrate a day created by retailers. When I was growing up, we disdainfully called this a “Hallmark holiday”.
I’ve tried repeatedly to remind myself of this fact. Instead, I remember the precious spontaneous moments when my child made a Freudian slip and said “love you”; or thanked me for staying home to care for him when he was sick. However, at this time every year, the lilac bush- which my children once gave me as a mother’s day gift simply because they knew how pleased I would be- bears the fragrant yet bittersweet reminders of a time when they were young enough to fall under the spell of motherly love.
Now it seems they do everything possible to break the mold: by either completely ignoring the day or blatantly offering favors or expressions of love to their dad, instead of me, on mother’s day. It is enough to break my composure and bring a few tears to my eye. Why should I feel so badly, I tell myself, because they choose to make a political statement (similar to the one my sisters and I launched on the company that shared our family name)? Why does it feel like a personal attack?
To hide my feelings of disappointment I do the opposite. I go online and email a gift to my own mother- even though I know she agrees with me on the principle and we exchanged our own expressions of love and appreciation yesterday (and at least once a week throughout the year). I try to sit with my husband, who is taking a break from mowing the lawn to watch some golf. Unfortunately every break is loaded with sappy commercials and then, to make matters worse, a sob story about the mother of one of the golfers comes on. It is too much to take. I flee the house, hop on my bike and try to escape it all- even for a few minutes.
Now my husband has run out to the store to buy groceries for dinner. I almost wish he wouldn’t. At this point, I no longer think it is his responsibility to serve me on mother’s day. It should be between me and my children. If they have somehow managed to escape the song of the Sirens, I should be thankful for their strength to withstand the commercialization of an absurd idea- that there is only one mother’s day…