Thursday, May 5, 2011

That Day In May

I sort of hate Mother's Day.

I've already explained why.

I'll say again, for anyone who doesn't read the link, that I love my own mom. She is worthy of honor. She's incredible and amazing and the small gift she's getting from me doesn't even begin to express what she means to me. But I certainly hope that I make her feel appreciated on Mondays and Thursdays and the entire month of October and every day. I hope she doesn't need a commercial holiday on a Sunday in May. I hope she knows that I'm only doing this long distance thing, that I'm only forging a life away from her, because I have to. I hope she knows that there are days when I just want my mommy to go with me to lunch or the store or to come wipe my nose for me. I really hope she knows that when I call her forty-five times a day it's because I need her--or want her--and I'm glad she's just a phone call away. So if society says that I need to take this one day in May to tell her all these things, so be it. I will tell her and honor her and hope she knows that it isn't because Hallmark told me to. See, it's not the honoring my own mother that I find ridiculous.

I've seen a lot in my seven years of ministry. I've been through a lot. I've seen women crying on Mother's Day because their own mom died young or abandoned the family or yelled a lot. I've known women who have lost a child, placed one for adoption, or struggled to achieve motherhood. I spent several Mother's Days longing to be a mom and fielding questions. "So, will I be able to wish you a Happy Mother's Day next year?" "Don't you want a flower in church next year?" "When are you gonna have a baby?" I spent a Mother's Day agonizing over whether the next year I would be remembering Matthew and wondering where he was and what he was doing. I know that Mother's Day--that honoring all these amazing women--can be really depressing and painful for so many people. For that, I kind of hate Mother's Day.

My husband asked me today what I want to do on Sunday. I told him that we don't really need to do anything. Aside from ministering to people who are really hurting on Mother's Day, I simply do not understand why I'd be honored. I chose this. This was my heart's deepest desire. Why would I then be celebrated for wanting children so badly I could barely breathe without them? God answered my prayer. A day devoted to me just seems absurd. I know that Garrett is making me something in preschool. He's very excited about it and asks me, "Is today Happy Mother's Day so that I can give you the present I made you and bring you green eggs in bed?" (Apparently, he's confusing Mother's Day with Dr. Suess.) He is so joyful about celebrating me and I would never want to strip him of that excitement. But everything in me wants to make my boys macaroni necklaces and serve them green eggs in bed. (Except, oh the bed carnage if I did that.) Because the presence of them is what makes me a mother. Bandaging their owies, filling their tummies, making them smile is the greatest earthly gift I ever could have been given.

And I don't need a day. My husband makes me feel like the greatest mom all the time. He overlooks my yelling, my following behind the boys and cleaning as they destroy, my neuroses. He tells me, when I'm questioning my parenting ability and when I'm not, "You're a great mom." And I'm actually starting to suspect that he means it. My oldest son tells me, "You're my favorite mommy." Unlike Matthew, I happen to be Garrett's only mommy so I'm not sure who I'm being compared to but I appreciate the feelings behind the words more than I could ever appreciate flowers or lunch out. And, as has been well chronicled, Matthew is the biggest mama's boy in the history of civilization and makes me feel, on just about every given day, that his world would simply implode if I wasn't holding it together. So I simply do not need to be celebrated on a day in May when they're doing such a good job appreciating me the rest of the year.

And I really hope that all moms secretly feel the same way I do. Because, really, if you need to be celebrated, motherhood was probably not the best career choice to begin with.


  1. Amen. Oh and the last line made me laugh out loud. :)

  2. love it! we feel this way about just about every commercial holiday.

  3. Not me, I love Mother's Day - then again, I love just about every holiday! Mommy is just my proudest title and it's a day for which I 'm so very grateful to participate.