Sunday, May 08, 2011

word to your mother

According to the word of the Lord Wikipedia, the founder of Mother's Day in the United States, Anna Jarvis, was so disgusted with the commercialization of the holiday that she spent the rest of her life protesting it, even getting arrested for disturbing the peace at one point. I think that's gorgeous. Not because I have a real problem with Mother's Day, but because I have a problem with expectations.

I love my mom. Point blank period. We have a fantastic relationship and pretty much always have, even during some of the hairier adolescent years. We're extraordinarily different people with personalities that could otherwise clash, and we certainly don't see much of the world the same way, but she's amazing. For all that I could find fault with, she really is the perfect mom -- not because she has no flaws, but actually because she does. As a parent, she has never been motivated by anything other than what she sincerely believed were my best interests, health, and happiness, and I don't think I could ask for much more than that. Especially as we get older and our relationship evolves, I really like her as a person, too. She's funny, smart, kind, and interesting. I just love the lady, what can I say.

My mom is fond of the saying, "Don't stand on ceremony," which I've always taken to mean, "Let's not let our behavior be dictated by what day it is on the calendar, or the setting we find ourselves in, or what we think we're 'supposed' to do at this moment." Instead, let's be authentic. That's why it takes me an hour and half to buy my mom a greeting card. I have never been a fan of letting someone else's words speak for me, especially when they're dripping with manufactured sentiment. I understand why Anna Jarvis railed against the holiday she'd created -- it had gone from a means of honoring one's mother to a largely empty exercise in commerce. Honestly, the part where we're supposed to buy our moms cards and flowers and go out to dinner doesn't bother me -- the part the bothers me is the expectation of what our relationships with our mothers are supposed to be like. Like most other holidays, there is an assumption that we're all celebrating in the same uncomplicated way, and if not, there's something wrong with us. Well, that's just crap.

So I'm going to say this (and I'm really saying it to one friend in particular): Mother's Day gets to be whatever you want it to be. Doesn't matter what Hallmark, or your coworkers, or even your mother tells you it should be. If you grew up without a mom -- or wish you did -- it doesn't mean that today you have to sit in a closet and feel like shit. It means that, while some of us are celebrating the people we are because of our moms, you can celebrate the person you are despite yours. You can celebrate the mom you will one day be. My mom, who as we have discussed doesn't stand on ceremony, would tell you the same thing. And then she'd make you a sandwich.


Uriah said...

Celebrating the mom I will someday be. Happy Mom's day!

Nina said...

You, madam, have no imagination.

Veronika said...

Crying. ;) No words.

Nina said...

Well, I have words: You're awesome. I have some more: Don't you hope Uri feels stupid now? Because I sure hope Uri feels stupid now.

Emily said...

LOVE it! And, I so love your mom. She is awesome. Anna Jarvis should make a holiday just to honor YOUR MOM. *(Yo Mama Day??)