Monday, May 15, 2006
Ode (sort of) to Mother's Day
Byzantine Blue Tree, 2006, Oil on Panel, 16x20
I have mixed feelings about Mother's Day. I actually like the concept, honoring and spending time with a parent who raised you, but as with anything remotely resembling a holiday in this country, it has turned into a day, really several weeks, of sentimental drivel. Sappy, emotional commercials, advertisements and constant reminders to buy your mother a gift or even just a card, one of the 152 millions cards given to mothers on this day.
Here is an interesting history of Mother's Day, starting with its origins in the United States. It begins with this:
"Mother's Day was originally started after the Civil War, as a protest to the carnage of that war, by women who had lost their sons."
This seems especially timely right now and it just seems so trivial to go shopping.
On a more personal level, for me, Mother's Day is just a day where I feel even more guilty for not being a better mother. I feel bad for being happy when my kids go to school and are out of the house, for when I tell them to leave me be, for when I yell at them because I am tired and crabby. For when I do or say something that disappoints them or even wounds them. I feel guilty enough about all this (and more) every other day of the year, it's just worse when I am supposedly being honored.
And despite all of that, I have to admit, that I love how happy my kids are about making me a special breakfast, picking flowers for me, helping around the house and giving me a gift that they have spent days making (I have drawn the line with the gifts, if they must give me a gift it has to be handmade). My husband asked me last week if I wanted to do anything special on Mother's Day and I said that all I want is for all of us to have a normal Sunday, puttering around the house and catching up on things. Oh, yeah, and I'd like to have just one day where I don't have to cook or clean up after.
So that was my gift, along with a lovely hat made from paper plates and decorated with fake flowers made by my youngest daughter, and we all enjoyed our day.