I knew it was coming. All the pink cards in the shops. All the schmultzy ads that sneak in via email. All the pairs of pyjamas I don’t need but seem suddenly very essential….Mother’s Day.
Just the name of the day creates a myriad of feelings and thoughts. I’ve always treaded fairly carefully around this day. My mum was not a fan. The day was filled with a sense of obligation. It never seemed about celebrating motherhood. It was about being in the right clothes. I recall a blue velvet dress with a white collar and black patent leather shoes. It was about being in the right place. I remember one year it was at ‘Leonda’, a very posh venue on the banks of the Yarra in Melbourne. It was about being at the right time. Did they always have ‘sittings’ for a Mother’s Day luncheon? I think we might have been late that year.
The year my Nanna died and my mum was now the senior and most important mum on Mother’s Day, I was away on my honeymoon. And though I wrote a reminder note to call her, it really wasn’t a big deal to her. At least that’s what she said.
Ten years later and I’m the mum of a gorgeous ten month old and suddenly this celebration has a new depth of meaning that I want to participate in. Now my mum is Nanna and she really doesn’t want to repeat the sins of the past, so trying to organise a family Mother’s Day event was, let’s call it…a challenge.
“I don’t want to be a bother.”
“You don’t have to do this for me.”
“I don’t need a Mother’s Day lunch.”
So finally, I let her know that it’s for me. I’m the Mum! I want to celebrate Mother’s Day.
And though she got on board and was lovely and proud of me for the mum I was and, for every year that she was still around to see me be, the mum I became, I still wonder why… why is Mother’s Day so hard?
Is it just me? Or do you feel it too?
This year she’s gone. She died last September. I know she’s free of her feeble failing body. I knows she’s free to dance now but I miss her. I even miss hearing her tell me that Mother’s Day is no big deal. I miss getting her something anyway. And I realised yesterday. I went to buy candles for my sons to give me. Ones I know I like, just in case…. and I thought, just for a moment, Ooh, I’ll get one for Mum. But I didn’t need to get one for her. I don’t need to buy my mum a present this year. It’s sad. I’m ok, feeling sad about it is a pretty normal feeling to have.
So now here I am, writing on the night before Mother’s Day. I’m writing my blog. Oh my goodness, Mum would be so proud of me. She knew, I love to write. She knew, I love the processing opportunity writing brings. She would tell me how brave I was to doing this.
Tomorrow morning I will wake with my two sons here. They might make me breakfast, they will definitely give me nice candles and I will be their Mum. No matter what else happens, I will still be their mum, their brave mum. After all my Mum told me I was brave, pretty sure she’s still saying, “She is still brave!”