May 9, 2013

Mother's Day and Heroes

I just read this Anne Lamott article about Mother's Day. When we were struggling with infertility, it was an excruciating day. Part of me hated all the mother's and all their stupid children. I skipped church. I couldn't deal with whatever the church was going to do to honor Mother's. Some churches gave flowers to every woman, which is a nice gesture, but barely touches the core pain when you want a kid but can't have one.

Anne takes it one step further and talks about the need to honor all those who played mothering roles, including gay men. She says that she intentionally didn't raise her son to celebrate mother's day.

Now that I have a kid, am I on the Mother's Day bandwagon? Meh. As she states in her article, my feelings are similar to what I think of Valentine's Day. It's a holiday that is unnecessary if you have a sweetheart/child, but makes you feel horrible if you don't. I don't enjoy situations that make others feel left out or hurt, so I'd be OK if both holidays disappeared. Frankly, every morning I wake up to a little voice next to the bed saying, "Mom?" is mother's day. I'm intensely grateful for our funny, stubborn, opinionated, intense little guy. I guess a gift certificate for a 90-minute massage and guilt free permission to go enjoy it sounds nice, but why wait for a Hallmark moment for that to happen?


The other thing rolling around in my head is the situation around Charles Ramsey. He stepped in to help free three kidnapped women and now is being rolled in the giant American media mixer and getting thrashed. He seems like a level-headed guy with a great sense of humor, so I hope he's not getting messed up by our weird need for heroes to be larger than life and perfect in every respect.

Stay real, Mr. Ramsey.


NGS said...

Also, can we give a shout out for Angel Cordero, who helped Charles Ramsey get those women out of the house, and is getting no publicity because, I suspect, he does not speak English and doesn't have quite the personality that Ramsey does...

Rachel said...

I know Mother's Day can be a painful reminder of loss for many people, but IMHO, rather than discarding it, maybe the solution is to be more inclusive, and to expand the definition to encompass everyone who nurtures and cares for others. For me this would include teachers, my great-aunt (who never had her own children), and the many, many people who mentored and cared for me over the years. I don't necessarily think the point is to say that mothers are important and other people are not, but to honor the often invisible, tedious and unrewarding work of caring for little people.

OTRgirl said...

Great points from both of you. NGS: I was indeed unaware of Angel Cordero. Thank you for the link.

Rachel: thank you. You're attitude feels much more wholistic than mine.