Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Mother's Day

Mothers Day. It's a weird day for me. I didn't always spend Mothers Day with my mother. But she was around. And maybe I'd see her later or just talk on the phone. But she was there. Mothers Day is weird when your mom has passed away. I'm bombarded for weeks about gifts to give mom, plans to make with mom, sappy commercials.

I am not really a holiday person to begin with. After we were all grown, my mother wasn't either really. Or maybe it was once she started working in the town video store she wasn't that into holidays. The video store was open on most holidays and she would rather have had time and a half, which was fine. I wasn't around for a lot of years, living in Mercer county and I was already used to it by the time I moved back up to Bergen in 2001. But it's obviously different in "not being around" because of work, distance, other plans, etc and being dead.

So maybe it sounds shitty but in only three and a half years I'm not really into celebrating anyone's mother. And to be perfectly honest, I don't really care about celebrating myself either. I feel the same way about Mothers Day that I do about Valentines Day. If you're with someone you feel appreciates you anyway, a made up holiday doesn't feel all that important. I don't begrudge anyone else's celebrating, but again, like Valentines Day, I think people forget that it's not just a magical day to be "spoiled" (I *hate* that word) and get gifts to some. For some people it's really hard- the ones who want kids but can't have them, want kids but don't have a person to have them with and aren't into doing it alone (It's FUCKING hard. I get why someone doesn't just "have a baby" on their own), have no mom, have a shitty mom, lost their mom, lost a child, have a sick child, etc. There are a million reasons to celebrate and a million why even just hearing the word "mother" in May might sting like acid poured in the eye. I also kind of feel like if you are with the right person and you feel appreciated and loved all year, holidays just don't seem all that important. Maybe that's just a shout-out to my amazing husband. I don't know. I just remember caring more about holidays when I was in bad relationships and I felt like "AT LEAST" I could get love or appreciation on a day DESIGNATED for those things. But the reality is, that was just a lot of pressure put on the wrong people in the wrong relationships.

Facebook was just flooded with happy mothers day wishes, re-posted articles, mothers day memes. And that's cool. But I just didn't feel like saying anything. I didn't feel like putting anything out there about my mother because I wasn't looking for sympathy or whatever. I wasn't feeling profound or particularly articulate. I'd just found out a friend's three year old daughter has cancer, and I don't know. I wasn't feeling melancholy or sad. I just kind of felt neutral. Or more like I was watching everyone from above but not a real life participant in anything.

So many people asked what I was doing or if I had a nice day. I DID. Don't get me wrong. I have an awesome husband and an awesome kid. E made me a card and decorated a flower pot in "jewels" and painted it my favorite color. He was SO excited to give it to me and I smiled thinking how this is the first in a long line of handmade gifts. I am very lucky. B gave me a nice card and a gift card. Anyone that knows me knows my favorite thing is to be able to shop for myself. Gift cards are like gold to me. I know some people think they're impersonal or whatever but nothing makes me happier than a gift card knowing I can shop sometime in the future just for me. E had class in NYC so we knew we were going to the city no matter what. Last year we went down the shore. It was just a bit warmer and sunnier I guess because I remember falling asleep on the beach. But it was a bit windy on this Mothers Day so the city was fine. We left after class and went to the "New" Overpeck Park. I'd tell you what town it's in but it's spread out over three towns- Leonia, Ridgefield, and Teaneck. Not sure where we actually were in the breakdown. It was really nice for E. Then we went to dinner at Houstons in The Shops at Riverside, did our usual CVS run and ended the day/night with ice cream at Clyde's in Allendale. Power packed day. But that also could've been our usual Sunday. If you ask my husband, he'd say I make him run around like that all the time.

So, it wasn't like it was a bad day. It was a nice day. A very nice day. I just am still not so on board with all the Mothers Day'ing in my face. I take time to process things. Maybe I'm not done processing that my mother is gone. It's been three years and sometimes it feels like a long time and sometimes it feels like yesterday. Maybe Mothers Day will always be bittersweet or weird. I love my son and my husband and am thankful I got to spend the day with them doing what we wanted to do. I love having no obligations and/or family discord. That we don't have to do anything special to have a nice day, and that it's kind of comforting to know that we can be doing anything, any day, and that's just our life. Happy to be together doing whatever. Mothers Day or a random Tuesday. That's what I'm thankful for- not for having a holiday that seems to cause a lot of people a lot of stress, dashed expectations, and family drama. Maybe if I'd come from a big family who always did up every holiday, all festive and happy, that I had awesome memories and traditions from, I'd be more into holidays. But I didn't come from that or marry into it.

This isn't supposed to be a downer. I hope everyone had a really nice day, no matter how you spent it and with whom. I'm just ruminating on my own day and why I was pretty quiet except to return texts, emails, and wall posts on FB. I wasn't ignoring anyone or hiding. I just hadn't decided what I wanted to say. So I said nothing. For once. And now I remedied that in the best way I know how.

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