Today is Mother's Day, 2012. I love my mom and mothers and I like the idea of celebrating them on a special designated national holiday. The only drawback to this beautiful day is, the awkward exchanges that take place in the days leading up to it. Especially the Friday before, at work. I hate the, "and Happy Mother's Day to you" or "enjoy your Mother's Day". Obviously the people don't know me or else they would know, I have no children. I have never been pregnant as a matter of fact. Some will follow it up with, "are you a mother?", but for the most part, I end up staring at their backs trying to figure out the best way to 'break the news' that, although I have a mother whom I will be celebrating with, I am not a mother, but thank you for your well wishes. I assume I am saluted this way because I fit the age criteria of being a mother.
If I am successful at clarifying the issue and 'fess up, it seems like the air is let out of their bodies as they say or give the 'oh' look. Almost as if they want to take it back instantly, since I haven't earned my stripes. Most times, I just say 'thank you' and move on. I know people mean well and it's not done to be hurtful or even assume. They think they're doing the right thing- wishing a woman of childbearing years a Happy Mother's Day. I get the feeling the thought is, "you're a woman and you have a vagina, right?" If I feel weird, I wonder how women who have lost children feel when it's said to them. Or women who cannot conceive feel about it. What about the women who just have not settled down or found the right mate for parenting? Or the aunts, cousins and god parents raising children that are not biologically theirs, whether in a temporary or permanent situation.
I don't want people to stop spreading the love, just maybe take a moment (which I understand most people don't have or think they don't have) to inquire first, "are you a mother? Oh, no, well enjoy your weekend...blah, blah, blah". Hey, it's better than, "enjoy your weekend anyway". As if, "well I'm sorry to hear that, do the best you can to have a good weekend." Again, I take it all in as a positive. I am grateful my mother is around and I enjoy the holiday, for her sake and the sake of all of my new mommy friends. But in passing, people say and assume the darndest things, with total disregard of you or your life story. Their genuine desire to be kind, should not be overlooked however. That's where the smile and 'thank you' come in.
Happy Mother's Day to all, no matter what your mother situation is, whether you have a mother or not, whether you are a mother or not. If you have felt the love of a mother, yours or otherwise, you too should celebrate Mother's Day. As a person who has ever felt the real, uncompromising love of a woman, whatever her mother status; you should celebrate the natural nurturing that comes with most who are women. And don't forget those women who take care of animals. It sounds crazy, but there are a lot of pet parents who prefer 4-legged 'children' over the traditional kind, Happy Mother's Day to them too. There, I think I covered everybody!