I've got something to say about Mother's Day. It's tomorrow, and my Facebook feed is filled with daughters missing their moms, women beating themselves up because they gave a kid up for adoption a zillion years ago, women who don't believe in Mother's Day even though they love their mom and their kids. I never realized this was such a big holiday. I sometimes wonder if social media has somehow worked to change our perception of things like this. Has Mother's Day always been this big of a deal? Or does it just seem so because my feed is filled with Mother's Day posts?
I'm not a mom. Not of humans anyway. This doesn't make me sad. I drank away my child bearing years and would never bring a child into the life I was living back then. I am proud of my choice. Perhaps the world would be a better place if more people who were unfit to be parents took responsibility for not having kids. There are plenty of good parents out there to take up the slack, and lord knows the human race is not in danger of extinction.
My mom has been off this earthly plane for 18 years. She loved me, but she wasn't what you would call a traditional mom. I think she was doing drugs the day they passed out the mother gene. She and I had worked out all our issues by the time she died and I can honestly say that I'm glad for the part she played in my life. I grieved her death, and experienced no small amount of anger when she died because I felt she went too early. A lifetime of doing drugs will do that to you. But mostly I felt relief that she was out of all of her emotional and physical pain. The death certificate says she died of some sort of exotic cancer. I believe she died of drug addiction and a broken heart. I don't miss her. I think of her once in a while, fondly. But I don't miss her. I actually fail to understand the entire "missing people" concept. Perhaps I was busy the day they handed that gene out. Don't get me wrong, I love people and I love being around them. But when I'm not....I've got lots to keep me busy.
Anyone who may have been a mother figure to me came in and out of my life so quickly that there has been no time to regret their presence and their absence. I'm simply grateful. I'm grateful for the step mother du jour who taught me to share the breakfast cereal with my instant horde of brothers and sister. I'm grateful for the one who taught me about bras. The rest of it? Self taught. I still find it humorous that those who are in a position to know say I don't know how to do laundry. It's another of those self taught things: throw the clothes in the washer, add soap, turn on. Throw in dryer. Sort colors? Who thinks of these things?
As for nurturing? Somewhere along the line I've figured out it was ok to nurture people. Although it has been a learned thing for me, having never received much of it myself. You might say I've made the effort to nurture my nurturing side. Nurturing did not come automatically but today I actually enjoy it. I mother my sick friends if they will allow it. I look for opportunities to nurture people, to provide a sometimes silent but supportive presence in a time of need. I nurture my pets.
I guess if someone was a good mother we should somehow honor them. But I think that honor should be daily. Consistent. Not on one day out of the year. And we should honor our ancestors, and the women who made it possible for us to vote today, and all the other pioneers who fought so that we could make progress towards equal rights. And those who continue the fight today, because I don't think we are there yet.
Being unfamiliar with motherhood from both the receiving and the giving ends, I could have a totally skewed view. But I don't think so. I've got a lot of history, a lot of wisdom and a lot of training under my belt.
My point? I guess I just wanted to give voice to another point of view about Mother's Day. Surely there is someone out there who is having similar feelings. Take care of yourself. Honor your mom, not just this weekend. Maybe honor someone else's mom. Moms play a big part, without them we wouldn't be here. Honor yourself if you are a mom, and try not to eat too much Sunday brunch. Happy Mother's Day.