Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother's Day

Each Mother's Day, J has made me a gift of some kind - usually a hand-made card and some objet d'art to accompany it. In her pre-school days, these productions were supervised and indeed orchestrated by the instructors at daycare - the importance of the day was impressed upon the kids and J never felt like she had quite done justice to the love she felt for me. To that end, I would receive many tokens of affection for a week preceding and days following Mother's Day. 

As much as I cherish them all and feel humbled to be loved as much as I am, I always thought it was particularly wrong to get children to feel like they had to do something to demonstrate their feelings for their mother (and father). J is now eight and a veteran of Mother's Day gift making and gift giving. Even with all that experience she is never sure she is able to translate her feelings well and that leaves her somewhat anxious and disappointed. When I tell her, all I need is a big hug, she is not convinced that is enough to mark the momentous nature of Mother's Day. 

Then there are friends who start to call and leave messages wishing me Happy Mother's Day. Each year, I feel socially awkward because I was not the first to wish. Not every mother I know calls me and I never end up calling them either. It is amazing how much angst a Hallmark holiday can create.

2 comments:

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ggop said...

Hey HC, thought of this essay when I read your post.
http://www.salon.com/life/feature/2010/05/08/hate_mothers_day_anne_lamott