Sunday, May 9, 2010

May 9th... The Mother in me.

I remember for the very longest time, always finding myself sad around Christmas. That Visa commercial, the animated one, with the decorated house, smoke rising from the chimney, the dog and cat happy around the hearth, big family, lots of love and turkey - always seemed to point out everything that was missing in my life. It would prevent me often, from feeling grateful for what I did have: a solid, good relationship with Honey, my kids may not all or any have been around, but they were reasonably OK somewhere, my dad always participated, our pooch was with me, food was good and plenty - there was an awful lot to feel grateful for. And yet I managed for many a Christmas to miss that and feel sad anyway. I'm not going to be to hard on myself, because our consumerist society, that pummels you to no end about family and Christmas spirit, does a number on the best of us.

And truth be told, Mother's Day is not much different for me. I set myself up. I get excited, especially this year, when most of my relationships with my kids seem better than they have ever, ever been. I set myself up with stupid anticipation, merciless expectation. And even worse, God help me if I'm pmsing - the emotional heights I take myself to, or depths I guess, are painful and horrible. I set things up in my head: who will call, when the calls "should" come, a card, an acknowledgment, and when these things don't show up in the form I hope them too I fall from such a high precipice. I give myself a broken heart, that literally feels like a torn ligament in my chest, it's awful. Even more so because inevitably the call comes, the cheerful happy voices, the well wishes. And I crumble from the intensity of it all. It shouldn't be this way. I shouldn't be this way.

I realize I am the one that creates the space for this pain. I think I was trained by my own mother, and her alcoholism - somehow there is a link for me. The inevitable disappointment in my deep, deep wish for her sobriety. It never came. Maybe my fear (irrational as it may be) is the "reality" of the relationships I have with my kids are not what I imagine (wish, hope) them to be, and that the slightest indication of that (not getting a call when I think I should) sets me into despair. Holy cow - that's a lot of therapy for one Mother's Day.

And now both my daughters are mothers (almost!!) themselves and I have a wish that we share joy among us. I have a wish that we respect each other, hold each other in high regard, celebrate the fact that we can love each other, that we don't in fact cause each other grief, that we can count on each other, that we each know deep down we are loved. As a matter of fact, I realize now, this is not a wish, it is what already is.

I will forever be your mother. Happy Mother's Day to you.

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