Hearts and flowers will always be a part of my world, but as the motherofason (and a human being who happens to be a woman) I know that mothers are comprised of many things. I think we’d all be healthier and happier if we’d give ourselves, the mothers in our lives and the others too…just a little slack, and realize that being human is a complex state of being; nothing less than amazing and nothing more than human.
An English poet, one of many who have tried to put human beings in tidy boxes , coined this ryhme in 1820: almost 200 years ago, and for some reason, we still cling to the sentiments. Truth is girls aren’t always: “Sugar and spice and all things nice…” And really? “Snips and snails and puppy dog tails…that’s what little boys are made of…”
This Mother’s Day, feeling sentimental and tired yet hopeful and happy, I suggest we give our mothers a break and our kids too. I will always miss my Mother on Mother’s Day, and my French Nana too. Neither were perfect moms. I adore (and like and love my son) yet sometimes I feel disappointed. And that’s useless and unfair. I am getting smarter, however. If there is something I really, really want, I just tell him. If I don’t tell him, I don’t expect it. Amazing how well that works. (Women, try it with all the men in your life!)
This year on Mother’s Day, I miss a dear, dear friend who came into being a mother the same time as I, and we travelled that amazing, beautiful and sometimes hellish road together until just months ago. When our kids were babes, I remember her confiding that on the commute from New Market to Toronto (where she was completing another degree) she felt so conflicted about pursuing her own interests while wanting to be a “good” mom. It wasn’t just the idea of putting her son in child care so she could go to classes that made her question her mothering ability. With her baby son content in the car seat behind her, she simply wanted an hour of quiet thought. But, shouldn’t she be engaging her child with clever rythming learning games and song instead? Was she a bad mother? That’s just what an amazing mother she was.
This Mother’s Day, I salute all mothers, wishing you a day that is just right for you. As for me, I’m sorting through old photographs, going to the gym and doing my taxes. This year, due to scheduling conflicts, my Mother’s Day is being postponed until tomorrow. That’s imperfect perhaps, but perfectly fine with me.