May 12, 2010

Mother's Day

Ever since I have been a mother I have had mixed feelings about the meaning of Mother’s Day. When my children were little, and I was naïve, I was under the impression I was supposed to spend the day with the three toddlers. As everyone with little kids knows, this is not always fun. To me, it made Mother’s Day just like any other day in the year; only I was supposed to enjoy the time together.

As my kids got older, and I got more assertive, I realized that Mother’s Day should celebrate me, not torture me. After years of tears and feeling sorry for myself, my family changed the program. The decision was made; I should be able to do whatever I want on my special day. I am sure there are millions of mothers in the world who celebrate mother’s day in this fashion, it just was not me.

This year as Mother’s Day loomed closer, my family asked me what I wanted to do to celebrate. Over the last number of years this question has been posed, but this year it was posed with more conviction than ever before. Wow, I thought, a breakthrough, no carpools, no dishes, no cleaning the cluttered house and time to myself. I was elated!

John volunteered to drive the track and field carpool and do the dishes .Courtney and Tom volunteered to clean up their stuff which was all over the house, and even their rooms. John, Courtney and Tom volunteered to make me a dinner of my choice. I was even allowed to play tennis for two hours in the morning, always my favorite activity. Why can’t every Sunday be Mother’s Day?

One might wonder about Alex. How does she process the idea of Mother's Day? Is it a day for her or a day for me and her together? Am I supposed to spend time with my kids to celebrate being a mother? Or am I allowed to wallow in my own glory? I knew the answer even before I asked myself these questions.

As always, Alex takes the meaning of things to heart. On Sunday, when she awoke, she shared with me her vision for MY day. First, of course, there was the hug for” the best mother in the world”. Second, she suggested her idea for the day - after her Dad brought her back from track and field; I take her swimming and out to lunch, so she could share with her mom. To Alex, it was our day, not mine.

This is exactly what I did. I took Alex and Tom to lunch and we went swimming. Thankfully, the snow from the previous weekend had melted and the sun was shining. We spent three hours at the pool, I read and the kids swam. I came home to a steak dinner and a clean house. We ate together and hung out as a family. I enjoyed my kids, they grow up too fast.

It was a great day; a glorious Mother’s Day. I am thankful to all four members of my family who helped me celebrate the most important day of my year, the day that recognizes Mothers. I would not be the person I am if it were not for Courtney, Alex and Tom. My life has been enriched beyond belief. Thank you John for helping me realize my dreams!

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