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celebrating mother's day

On Celebrating Mother’s Day

  |   By Elisabeth Dale

How are you celebrating Mother’s Day? If you have kids, you might look forward to sleeping in late, and being served your favorite breakfast in bed.

Parent or not, you may call, text, or visit a mom, mother-in-law, or grandmother. This annual day is the way we recognize and thank women for bringing us into the world, and doing their best to raise us.

The original intent behind Mother’s Day was to honor mothers in a way similar to how War veterans are recognized, by presenting them with heartfelt, homemade notes. The irony is that the woman who fought hard to create this national holiday despised what it became: an ad for the card and flower industry.

However you show your appreciation, you’ve probably created some traditions around Mother’s Day.

This year, I’m forced to change my routine way of celebrating.

My Mom passed away last fall, just shy of her 95th birthday. I may have three kids, but Mother’s Day was always about celebrating the matriarch of the family. Her daughters made sure she was showered with her favorites: elaborate cards and floral arrangements, rich dark chocolates, and being made the center of attention at a fancy restaurant. As the only child living in the same city, it was my duty to carry out the brunch chore.

And that was the last damn thing I wanted to do on Mother’s Day. I needed a day off from child rearing and family obligations. I wanted to stay in my bathrobe all day. I did not want to wrestle my three kids into their Sunday best, squeeze my postpartum body into control-top pantyhose, carefully apply make-up, and be sure to wear a mother-approved outfit. Let’s not forget having to police three very curious and easily bored children, out in public, at a formal meal.

But that’s what I did for countless years, because it’s how my mother wanted to celebrate the day.

Now that she’s gone, I barely recognize the obvious resentment I had about setting aside my needs for hers. Maybe that’s the lesson here. It was more important for us to surround her, than it was for me to be inconvenienced. And I’m glad. Because those years passed in an instant, and I miss the company of my witty, demanding, silver-haired Mother.

celebrating mother's dayMy Mother with my kids

This Mother’s Day, I’ll be helping my sister go through my Mom’s house, to put it up for sale. The timing was accidental but, in retrospect, seems perfect. I’ll be celebrating Mother’s Day in a place that holds the most memories of my Mom. And that’s exactly how I want to spend my day.

How will you be celebrating Mother’s Day? Do you have any special traditions you’d like to share?

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