Sunday, May 09, 2010
Happy Mother's Day
Another Mother's Day almost come and gone, a complex holiday as far as holidays go --my mother (our mother -- the adorable girl pictured with me in this shot is my sister Beth) has been dead for almost a decade, leaving me with a complex legacy of her vivacity, charm, damage, and darkness. I loved her and miss her, but sufficed to say, I have not entirely made my peace with what her life means. I am not a mother myself so I'm left with an incomplete frame. But I've written about her before, so I'm going to turn my attentions to the complexities of the day starting with an incident in a check-out line on this Saturday.
A young clerk is wishing everyone in line a happy mother's day -- the two gay dudes in front of me, me, the older woman behind me. The older woman grimaces and says, I guess I'm a mother to my cat in a bitter voice. The clerk did not appear to catch the implications of his good tidings -- not any of us are mothers (not the gay dudes who if they have children probably consider themselves fathers, not me who merely said Thank you as if I were receiving an award, and not the woman buying celery and cat food behind me) and might have well, ambivalent feelings about that state and might be hurt by such a comment. As for our own mothers, we might have had tough relationships with our mother, be mourning our mothers, or any other myriad of possibilities. We've had to endure at least a week of commercials, flower arrangements, advertisements for mimosa brunches. I didn't mind the young man's comment -- I take any good tidings well except for Congratulations on your pregnancy which I got a lot when I had a swollen diseased appendix that made me look about three months along. Please take note -- I don't care how pregnant a woman looks, do not "congratulate" her on a pregnancy unless you see the baby coming out through her vagina. Seriously. But perhaps it's best to hold the generic happy mother's day until you know what's what.
That said, I'm glad we have a day to celebrate mothers, probably the hardest thing anyone ever does. The sacrifices even the worst mother makes are more than most of us make in our life and the best ones do so much work that it makes my eyes cross just to think of it. If you're missing your mom, I wish you consolation. If you are a mother, I wish you grateful children and a splendid day. If you like two of my dearest friends, have children who have died, I send you all my love to get through this day. If it's complicated, well, no worries -- on this blog, you don't need to stress. It can be any type of day you want it to be.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn." David Russell
Coney restaurant suggestion: American Coney downtown
Benedictions and Maledictions