Ah, Mother’s Day. Candy, flowers, attentive husbands who suddenly feel compelled to tackle their “honey-do” lists. Overflowing brunch crowds at restaurants. Excited children who think every day is mother’s day, or who don’t understand the concept at all but are still thrilled at eating out for breakfast and getting servings from Mom’s chocolates.
In reality, relationships with one’s mother are much more complex and complicated than the Hallmark-fueled spin would have us believe. As with any role we take on in life, we have our strengths and our short-comings. There: that’s my disclaimer. But this is a day for celebrating the good.
I absolutely loved parenting and watching my daughters grow into the wonderful women they are today. (The chocolates and flowers were a great perk, too.) While I’m no longer needed to shepherd them on a daily basis, I now have the privilege of sharing in their adult lives.
And now, I am a grandmother (or Oma, in a nod to our German connections). I get to watch my daughter as she grows into motherhood with her toddler and infant. Spit-up spattered tops, sleepless nights, the “I don’t want to” tantrums from her two-year old… Definitely a challenge, but she’ll look back on these days with the tender warmth that comes with time. And memory loss.
My mother passed away last year. As I said before, complicated. On the plus side, she instilled in me morals: a sense of right and wrong; fairness, responsibility, support of one’s family, a strong work ethic… And love.
It seems strange – and incomplete – not to have that matriarchal link, that further generational layer in the succession of motherhood. And it’s a bit scary to think that now I’m the matriarch of this lineage. For better or worse.
I don’t have any pithy revelations to impart about motherhood. And I’ll spare us all the mushy sentiments. But I’ve got some hecka good chocolate to consume, thanks to my loving daughter. And we all know that’s the bottom line, right?
Happy Mother’s Day to all!