Let me throw aside all sappy sentiment and be honest for a minute. Mother’s Day confuses me. When I was young, I had my mom and Mother’s Day was all about her. Easy enough. Then, I got married, and Mother’s Day was multiplied because now I had to think about my own mother, as well as my husband’s mother. Whose mom got to take precedence? Was I now supposed to try to fit both moms into the one day? To make matters even more confusing, I then became a mother. What exactly is the protocol at that point?
Ever since I became a mom this day has been a mixed blessing for me. The pull to make sure I was not enjoying this day while neglecting my own mom and mother-in-law was overpowering and, quite honestly, aggravating. As selfish as it is, I want this to be my day now that I’m a mom actively engaged in the raising of children. Certainly that isn’t too much to ask. Or is it?
Most mothers have ridiculously high expectations as to what would constitute an ideal Mother’s Day, though, and no one will be able to meet them, not even for one day each year. Realistically, it’s best to take your Mother’s Day visions, write them off as delusions, and soldier on. Take my Mother’s Day today, for example. We were up in the mountains staying in a nice log cabin, and I was still awakened at 6:30 a.m. by the ruckus of my sons barging into my bedroom to tell me they were awake. Thanks for the heads up, sweeties. It’s not as if I wouldn’t have figured that out on my own in two minutes when you began arguing with each other while “quietly” playing Battleship. Eventually, their father got home from his morning job taking photos and cleared them out of the house so I could get a bit more sleep. That was pleasant.
Until, at 8:15, the boys bust into my room again and declared, “Mom…you gotta get up. The stagecoach is leaving and you’re going to miss it.” No. Seriously. We were going on a stagecoach ride and in their attempt to let me sleep in they’d put me in a position whereby I would now mess up the whole endeavor for everyone with my ill-preparedness. Crap. I jumped out of bed, started rooting around through clothes like a coati looking for insects, grabbed something to wear, threw it on, and tried to figure out how I was supposed to function without a Starbucks run. I spent a few minutes chewing out hubby, who happened into the room during my “hurry-up-and-get-out-so-you-don’t-miss-the-damn-stagecoach-experience” fit. Then, I emerged and got myself to where I needed to be for my relaxing morning ride.
In retrospect, the day ended well enough. I did get to travel via stagecoach through the beautiful Whistling Elk ranch. I also got to ride a horse, something I hadn’t done in 25 years. My boys took me out for Thai food for dinner, which was nice too. And when I got home I greatly enjoyed the gifts my sons had made for me at school, one of which was wrapped in a white paper bag with a drawing of Luke as a ninja on it. Can’t beat that.
I guess Mother’s Day all comes down to expectations. As the years have gone on, Mother’s Day has become less and less disappointing for me because I have come to expect less and less from it. I know that sounds negative, but it truly isn’t. Mother’s Day isn’t merely about me, as much as the name might imply. Every mom knows that once you bring children into the world your life will never be the same. It’s never about you anymore. You gave up that right when you allowed that little being grow inside your body and then push its way out. Mother’s Day isn’t so much about being appreciated as it is about being important. And, nothing reminds you how important you are more than having your child rush into your room at 6:30 a.m. just to let you know they are indeed awake, alive, and ready to go.