Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mother's Day hubbub

Ah, yes, Mother's Day is coming up. Now I am all about celebrating moms, especially since I am one. However, all the hubbub around thanking mom is terribly overrated. In fact, I find it embarrassing.

Working for a card company teaches you much about the industry as well as the customers. I am a fly on the wall when it comes to shoppers. First of all, and a bit of a complaint, parents turn their kids loose in the card section. Little ones pull cards out of the slots and trample them. Or, they take them to their parents in big bunches, at which point, the parents stuff them into another slot. Cards are damaged. Kids run free. I smile and mumble a before grabbing the cards and searching for their homes. Next came the people who are unhappy that the cards are too mushy. These people do not have kindly feelings towards the intended recipient. I definitely send them to the generic Mom's Day cards. Sometimes I am asked to choose a card for some fellow who does not want to be shopping let alone picking out a card. I could pull out a card from the dog, and he would say, "That's great! Thanks."  After Mom's Day, all remaining cards will be tossed. Thousands and thousands of cards, paper products and envelopes cannot be recycled and will just be tossed. Ah, the sweet days we celebrate.

Growing up back the lane, we did not celebrate much. Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter were about it. Birthdays were underplayed. And, I never remember Mom or Dad taking us to buy a card or flowers. Just not something we had the money for or did. When I received my first bouquet for my first Mother's Day, I was thrilled. I did not do much to deserve them. I just went through nine months of wonder and discomfort and then birthing a child the size of a large ham. Never dreamed I could get flowers for it. My first child was born in a hospital that had a Stork Club for first time parents. The evening meal after her birth was dinner for two consisting of steaks with little plastic storks poked into them, baked potatoes and champagne. Yes, indeed, I had been deemed special.

My children became more aware of Mother's and Father's Day when they had children. Suddenly they were aware that I was a mother....and theirs to boot! Grandchildren drew pictures. Outlines of hands and feet. Pieces of paper glued with an occasional squiggly eye here and there that bobbed when I moved the paper. In preschool and kindergarten they made things out of clay and paper flowers. Yes, I was loved, and all I had to do was have a child who had a child.

Frankly, I do not need flowers and recognition. Sure, I am a mom. I gave up a great deal for my children. My life was turned topsy turvy. Sometimes it still happens. But I wanted children. I chose to have my babies. They are my gift to myself. They have always been the very heart of me. And, they have given me my wonderful grandchildren. What gift could be better.

Mom's Day is here. For all of you mothers who were in my life, who nurtured and loved me, I thank you. Pauline Aukerman, a church mom, watched over me when I was a toddler in Sunday School and became my friend when I was a teen. Happy Mother's Day, Pauline. I have lost so many of the 'moms' who influenced my life: Margaret Stager, Doris Lavy, Betty Johnson, Welma Johnson, Kate Loxley, Leah Rhoades, Freeda Anderson, and, especially my sisters June and Peggy who continue to influence my life.  All of these women hold a place in my heart.

I have a picture of my mother winking at me. It sits in my kitchen. Each day I look at it and smile. Oh, Mom, I love you. Miss you with all my heart, and in case I did not say it enough over the years, thank you. Happy Mother's Day. 

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