Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day, The Hard Way

This year both of my daughters were several thousand miles away on the that day I consider more important than Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving or any other occasion on which we celebrate the joy of family and togetherness. One daughter lives several thousand miles away and the other is on vacation.

This is the first Mother’s Day that I have not seen at least one of my daughters. While a telephone conversation is lovely, it’s not the same as a physical presence, the real closeness that affirms the celebration of motherhood – the joys, the heartache, the memories, the wonderful feeling of pride that comes from seeing your child mature into a happy, healthy adult.

My husband and I attended our community’s annual Mother’s Day Fly-in on Sunday, and I felt a huge void as I watched moms and grandmas glow with pride as they shared moments with their children and grandchildren.

I felt alienated from those happy moms. I wanted to shout – “I have children, I have grandchildren – they just couldn’t be here”. I imagined a hundred eyes on me, whispering, “poor lady, being at a Mother’s Day event and not having any children.” Up until this Mother’s Day, I never consciously felt the need to parade my motherhood, I never thought I needed affirmation about the wonderfulness of my mothering, and I don’t often brag about my children (out of respect for those whose children aren’t nearly as beautiful, talented or as smart as mine). This past Sunday, I was tested and failed miserably. I needed affirmation – I needed my children.

This Mother’s Day was a lonely day.


  1. Sorry your family wasn't there. I had 1 out of 3 with me and then I spent some time with my mom and dad who had 2 out of 4 with them. It doesn't feel the same when your kids are off and about without you on an important day like this. You are right - a phone call is not the same.

  2. I had to work -- I'm 6 months pregnant and someone I work with had the audacity to tell me I couldn't celebrate Mother's Day yet because I wasn't technically yet a mother.

    I have a 14 month old son, who just happened to be with his dad at home instead of attached to me at my place of work.

    I wanted a sign that said "I'm someone's Mom too, wish me a Happy Mother's Day" but I generally just had to deal with families who were too busy looking for a pet between brunch and dinner to realize I'd rather be having brunch and/or dinner with my family and my mom instead of being at work.

    So I feel you. I'm sorry it was crappy for both of us.

  3. Not that great for me either. Older daughter couldn't even afford a telephone call (but I know she has a new Kindle and her husband just flew to Boston to take part in a computer game party. Younger daughter called the day before. Son was at my house, but had to leave because one of the people he does handyman things for suddenly sprang a huge water leak from their sprinkler system.

    But it wasn't crappy. I slept in, my son did my laundry and had the house clean, and cooked baked ziti for me, and I had the whole day to do whatever I wanted to do, which bored me before the day was over, but I am not admitting it. It was an okay day.

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