May 13, 2013

Post-Apocalyptic Mother's Day Post

The world didn't end. This year anyway. Nor do I think it will be anytime soon, and even if it is, my adherence to my religious upbringing is a comfort me, however much a placebo. Fact is, if it ends, it's over, if it doesn't, there's more where that came from. It ultimately means to live each day as it comes at me in the best way I can.

I am neither pleased, nor am I ashamed, but I celebrated Mother's Day in a very passive way. I just didn't acknowledge it. It may seem petty on my part, but to make a big deal about it seems disingenuous. I waver between the two points on the line. I don't want to acknowledge my mother beyond saying, "Thank you for getting pregnant and giving birth to me. I commend you for holding up society's expectations as long as you could."

I don't choose to go into detail, I think I've aired enough laundry at this point. Just understand, I don't know how to celebrate the basic human fact that I have a mother. To me that's like celebrating the fact that two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen make water. There isn't Hydrogen Day that water is expected to acknowledge.

I don't know what to say that isn't fake. The years that I acknowledge it, it's a frantic search to find the right card that says as little as possible as honestly as possible. Things like, "I wouldn't be who I am today without you". I don't hate my mother, she just isn't really a part of my life, at least not in a tangential way.

To be honest, I don't even know how to celebrate "me" as a mother. I thought at some point in time after being a mom, I would feel like I could thump my chest with pride and claim to be the reason I have great kids. In fact, they have done all they have because they are talented and smart. I helped them grow, by caring for the seeds. There is no gardener's day celebrating the fact that someone planted a seed and it grew into a flowering plant. It's just part of the job and what the seed planter expects. If it doesn't grow into a flower, it's more that the gardener missed something.

I, too, held up the expectations. I got married and had kids, chose to stay home with them instead of working. I am glad I've been here. I've been a gardener to the most incredible thing there is. To watch a baby turn into a child, into a young adult... and I remember each step and I celebrate it. My babies are exploding with blooms. I'm glad I didn't let that seedling wither. Why plant a seed if you don't want to care for it?

You see, for me, every day is Mother's Day. I am a mother 365 days a year, and one day is just a blip on the calendar. I am thrilled to witness the life I helped create growing into marvelous and wonderful beings. Members of the human race who I believe will make it better. I didn't do anything special. I did what I was supposed to do. I was there. I really don't want to pat myself on the back.

To praise someone for doing their job seems akin to giving a trophy to everyone who competes. I don't like it in Little League, and honestly, I don't like it in parenting. We are doing our job as members of the human race. We are fulfilling the unspoken agreement we have with the universe when we bring new life into it.

Motherhood is just what women who have babies are supposed to do.


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