“…and What do You Do?” Thoughts on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day has come and gone, and with it my anxiety over whether or not I would feel special on that day. I’m told that the biggest long distance phone call day in the year is Mother’s day, topping even Christmas. I don’t know if that is true; it’s just what I have been told. Interestingly, Father’s day is the busiest collect long distance calling day of the year. Now what kind of a statement does that make?

I don’t know about you, but the anticipation of Mother’s Day has always been one of my most anxious times in the calendar year. Am I good enough? Do my children recognize my place in their lives? I mean, I carried each of them for nine months, fed them, raised them, homeschooled them, cheered them on in all their endeavors, and supported them financially, emotionally, spiritually and physically for the past twenty-six years. Does that count for something? Who will remind them that Mother’s Day is coming and they might like to recognize me, acknowledge me or at least call or send a card?

I guess Motherhood is a job description that never ends – or does it? The other day I was at a meeting and everyone had to state their occupation. As each person around the table stated theirs, I started to panic. I heard, among others, manager, instructor, B&B owner, and librarian. And then it was my turn. Well the only jobs I had held for pay in the past twenty-seven years were substitute teacher and sales counselor at a lavender farm boutique; and I am presently not working, aside from my writing. So when my turn came, I just mumbled, “Retired”. They looked at me: although I am 57 years old, I don’t always look and act like I am 57 years old. Darn. Wrong answer.

Well, I wondered and discussed with my husband, I’m kinda retired from motherhood; or am I? My older sons who are 24 and 26 don’t need me anymore. Or do they? And my 17-year-old son sure doesn’t seem to need me, or at least that’s what he lets on. Does a Mother (note the capital “M”) ever retire? My mother is 82 years old and I still need her approval and love; I always have. She is still the first person I call to share news with and I still bask in her compliments when I read her something I am working on. Hmmm… I think maybe I’ll never retire from this job, and I’m not sure I’ll ever want to.

My Mom and I

My Mother’s Day was great, by the way; a parcel in the mail with a wonderful letter from one son; another parcel on the way from another son in Korea; a gift card for my favorite store from son number three. And lots of love from my husband, who took me to a great Mother’s Day buffet in beautiful Baddeck, on the shores of the Bras d’Or Lakes. Yes, I felt special, loved and acknowledged.

Oh, and when I told Aaron I loved him yesterday, he actually mumbled back, “I love you too, Mom.” Those five words were worth more to me than anything. “I love you too, son.”