The uncensored, unvarnished and no-holds-barred truth is I have grown to have the same warm feelings about Mother’s Day that I do regarding colonoscopy.
Ask me if I am exaggerating and I might tell you I am referring to a colonoscopy without the comfort of anesthesia and that might be kind.
Why have I come to this place where Mother’s Day has become a day of dread and disgust?
It is because the day is a giant pain-in-the-ass where there are too many people to please and no way to make everyone happy.
By everyone I refer to the mothers in my life who only a short time ago numbered wife, mother, mother-in-law and three grandmothers.
That is six different women and six different ideas about what would make a nice Mother’s Day.
I did my best to try and find a way to have one big celebration but that never seemed to work and so we spent the day roaming from place to place.
Did I mention the complaints I heard from the younger women who all told me they couldn’t wait for the day when they didn’t have to cater to their own mothers and could simply have their own day.
As keeper of the local grandchildren we were in high demand and since we couldn’t seem to find a way to get that bigger celebration together it didn’t take long for the aforementioned grandchildren to tire of being dragged around.
Since it was Mother’s Day I did my best to take those kids and find ways to entertain them. Sometimes I succeeded and sometimes, well not so much.
That is part of having kids.
The Fundamental Issue
Some of you may consider this to be a first world problem or ask why I find it difficult to cooperate on the one day of the year dedicated to mothers.
The answer is it always made me crazy that we couldn’t just have everyone together for one celebration.
I didn’t care if it was a brunch or dinner.
I would be happy to cook or to pay for a meal somewhere, but that never worked and so we spent and spend the day shlepping around town.
And the other part of the equation is my birthday is May 9 which means that sometimes my birthday and Mother’s Day coincide.
Even when they don’t my birthday weekend always seems to have some crossover.
Call me what you will, but there have been some years where I kind of wanted my birthday to be the big deal and didn’t want it to be the afterthought.
If you are still reading this we’ll move along to other big issues such as are we going to hold International Link To Jack Day this year.
The answer is I don’t know and I haven’t planned for it. Hell, I can’t remember the last time I did it but I will tell you that it has been a pretty rousing success.
Call it part of silly tricks bloggers use to gain backlinks.
I was looking at A Partial Tale Of Two Liars, Is Your Life What You Expected It To Be? and Some Things I’ll Teach My Children to see if they could give me some insight on this restless feeling that is sitting in the back of my head.
If you have been around long enough you know I am a restless soul and that it is not unusual for me to dig around in the back closet of my head to see what is hiding in the dark.
You’ll also know I recognized a while ago that I was in the midst of some major sea changes and that part of the reason I feel unsettled is I haven’t yet become who I am going to be.
That is a fancy-shmancy way of saying I am conscious of the changes and actively working on moving from transition into the next phase of my life.
Did I mention it is both exciting and scary?
The Uncensored Truth About Mother’s Day
I probably haven’t mentioned my own mother always tells me I was the best Mother’s Day gift she ever got.
She brought it up a couple of weeks ago and surprised me by how sentimental she got.
Mom asked me if I remembered something she said when I was around 20 or so. I told her I wasn’t sure what she was talking about and she said that Mother’s Day where I yelled at grandma.
Funny thing is I had forgotten about it.
Mom and grandma got along very well so this moment is one of the few times I remember any sort of disagreement.
I don’t remember what led to their words, assuming I ever did.
What I do remember is hearing something to the effect of, “mom, I am 46-years-old, when do I get a Mother’s Day where someone else plans it all and I get to just relax.”
Grandma looked at her and said something and for just a moment I got some insight into what things must have looked like when mom was a teen.
They worked whatever it was in a moment and hugged.
My dad told me not to ask about it and to accept that there was always going to be a certain amount of chaos around the day.
“Isn’t there something we can do?”
He shrugged his shoulders and told me if I could figure out a way to convince the mothers to go out to eat and not to have a meal at home it might work.
“But dad, they always say they don’t want to spend money on an overpriced meal at a crowded restaurant because we can have a nice family meal at home.”
Dad laughed and told me to just accept it because they weren’t going to change and I wasn’t going to convince them.
Almost thirty years later and he is still right.
We’ll probably shlep all over the place on Sunday and I’ll have to remind the kids to make an effort not to fight on Mother’s Day.
And somewhere in the midst of the chaos I’ll think about my grandmothers. I suppose I’ll always miss them.