I know a number of women who begrudgingly celebrate Mother’s Day. I also know a number of women who miss their mothers so much that they ache on Mother’s Day, despite joyfully being mothers themselves. I know a few women who harbor so much resentment towards their mothers that they seldom, if ever, speak of the women, but I also know a few women who gladly count their lucky stars, regularly, because they have a mother who was, or is, a good person. I am one of those women.
To be clear, my mom and I have butted heads many times and have raised our voices to one another and slammed doors and barely spoke for short periods of time, but you know what, off the top of my head, on this morning in my 49th year on the planet, and the start of her 72nd, I don’t remember details of any one specific event that caused us trouble. What I can tell you for sure is that the few times in my life when I felt as if I was just about as empty inside as a living person could be, a hug from my mother and reassuring words from her brought me back to feeling full of life. Today on her birthday I am blessed and lucky to be thankful that I’m one of those women for whom Mother’s Day can be any day. I think that must be in large part what made me want to be a good one, and it surely in some way, maybe many, is responsible for my daughter being a good one too.
My mother does not drink coffee or wine, does not enjoy cleaning, gets no pleasure whatsoever in food shopping and preparing food or cooking of any kind, EVER, so it’s possible to think that we have too little in common, as I love all of those things, but we both love to read, we both love my dad and my daughter, and our yards and flower gardening bring us both a great deal of happiness. It turns out, over the seasons of all the years, that is enough. My father turned 75 this year and still had his mother, my boyfriend had only just turned 15 when he lost his. I know from both of these men that having a mother matters, no matter how close, long, or distant the relationship might’ve been. My mother’s relationship with her own was very strained for most of their lives, and I know from both of them that that can be as difficult, perhaps even more so, than not having a mother at all…
There have been times when my mom made me nuts, and there are times (many I suspect) when I made her crazy, and for us both, our annoyances during those difficult times were very hard to hide, and the tension was unpleasant, but those hurdles in life just get jumped over and we keep on going…”press-on,” as my mother often says. Suddenly I am old enough to have a granddaughter on the edge of driving my own daughter nuts and causing her annoyance, and it’s funny, how it just keeps rolling, generation after generation of mothers and daughters trying to live with each other, learn from each other, and love each other through decades.