Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

Not a fan. Really, I would trade one contrived, Hallmark-fueled, pseudo-holiday for about 364 days of just a little more gratitude and cooperation. I admit, it might have something to do with my first Mother's Day, as an actual mother, stinking to high heaven, but we'll leave that story for another day. Maybe it's sour grapes, maybe it's a genuine aversion - I don't know.

It's just all too much pressure. The 'perfect' gift and the elusive 'perfect' restaurant all annoy me. When given a choice, like I was because it was, after all, Mother's Day, I prefer to spend the day in a place that looks like this.

I want to see my kids doing things like this...
and this...
and this....
and this...

The boys teamed up with another bunch of kids who turned out to be from another biological/foster/adoption-formed family of six. This was a mom who reminded me that kid-growing business is spiritual work and is best done with an open heart and an open home.

After a great day in the sun, we had an impromptu dinner out (less about Mother's Day and more about the Kitchen Remodel). That is not always a pleasant experience with the crew we travel with, but this dinner was. It is often that I notice people glancing around the table assessing the kids we have in tow. We don't fit the 2.1, similar looking children who have hair and the same skin color. (As an aside, many people also assume Ethan is undergoing cancer treatment).
As the table next to us was leaving and making small talk, I wished the very elderly, italian grandma a "Happy Mother's Day". She weaved her way through a couple of chairs and leaned toward me and hugged me around the neck. She spoke mostly italian and all I could understand was "beautiful", "God Bless You" and "Novena". She gave me a big 'italian-grandma' kiss on the cheek and kept smiling and patting my face. I am not a very touchy-feely person, and this could have been a more strange situation if sincerity and genuine blessing for my family did not ooze from her every pour. Besides, some other public reactions to my family have been far less pleasant.
This woman also reminded me that raising these boys is spiritual work. Seems like there was a message in my Mother's Day - and it didn't come from Hallmark.


  1. We don't celebrate Mother's Day either...all too contrived. Glad you had a great day in the sun and had to chance to stumble upon the other family with similarities. I'm sure you all had a great time sharing stories.

    Love the Italian grandmother story. So sweet :)

  2. I try to not celebrate Father's Day and I get crap from my family about it. Not from my dad, but my wife and kids.

    If Mother's Day is contrived, Hallmark-fueled... (which it is), then what is Father's Day but a consolation holiday for the Dads out there. Father's Day is really just a stepping stone from Memorial Day to Independence Day, it gives dad an excuse to go golfing or fishing or sitting on his butt all day without having to get heat for it. He'll probably do it anyway, but at least for one day he can play his "Get Out of Heat" card.

    Let's toss 'em all. Birthdays, too! If we spent more time on each other every day maybe we could spend less resources and the stress that goes along with it for those other few days.