Growing up, my family was never big on things like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day and any other Hallmark Days you care to think of. I do remember feeling a bit like the odd one out during my school days as all my friends would talk about what they had bought for their mum, or lament that they couldn’t go out to the movies that day as it was Mother’s Day, or talk about the big family meal they had attended. I didn’t really understand as we didn’t do any of that in our family.
When I had children of my own I deliberately chose to keep the same low key approach to these days. I don’t need Mother’s Day to tell me I’m doing an important job bringing up my kids and I certainly don’t need them spending hard earned (theirs or mine!) on a present just because it’s Mother’s Day. During primary school they would always buy a gift at the Mother’s Day stall at school and that has always been plenty for me. I’m well known for having an anti-consumerist approach to life anyway…
On the other hand, I don’t want my kids to feel out of place either and they want to recognise Mother’s Day in some way so I have learned to graciously accept such gifts as they choose to give me. As they have grown older they have developed an understanding of my views on all of this and are happy to settle in the middle. This year, they bought me a book they thought I might like (I do, it’s Geraldine Brooks’ Caleb’s crossing) and more importantly wrote a few well chosen words on a lovely card covered in dragonflies.
In all the bad decisions, unlucky breaks and stupid things I’ve done over the years, the knowledge that being a mother is something I’m good at is sometimes the only thing that has kept me sane. I never thought I would enjoy being a mother anywhere near as much as I have. I’ve been privileged to have had the opportunity to spend 10 years working on it full time and I would do that again in a heartbeat.
This Friday night is the annual Mother-Daughter dinner at Bookworm’s school. This dinner is a long running institution at her school and we try hard not to miss it (I think we will have been to 4 out of the 6). As this is Year 12 for Bookworm, it’s our last one – which makes me a bit sad as we’ve had lots of fun at the previous ones. In theory mothers and daughters sit together at ‘year’ tables but in Year 7 Bookworm and her friends very quickly decided they would sit at one table and we mothers could sit together at another and we’ve kept that tradition going ever since.
I think the cliche that ‘every day is Mother’s Day’ works for me.