When I was a kid, mother’s day meant that my father bought my mother red geraniums and white petunias for the window boxes. That was pretty much it. When my own daughters were young, they made me scrambled eggs and fruit salad and got their father to drive them to our favorite French bakery for croissants. Sometimes we went out for a restaurant dinner, but not always because money was tight.
Social media has turned all this upside down and I followed both the adoring posts from mothers and children (mostly daughters) as well as the correcting of the limited notion of motherhood, and the sadness from having a bad or absent mother. I thought about it all. I usually post a tribute to my daughters, brief because I like to write about them on their birthdays. And am the beneficiary of heartfull messages from them. There were years when that wouldn’t have been the case. We had our stuff to get through. They are women in their 30s now, with that perspective.
A number of my friends are adopted, or have adopted children, have fought and won or lost the fertility battle, have decided that parenting is not for them, have transgendered or gay spouses, or choose to be pet parents aka catmom or dogmom.. I do know, it’s not just about red geraniums anymore.
I was gifted with mini red sunflowers from a sustainable harvest florist, to match my hair and to keep the earth healthy. Things have changed. I kept thinking on Monday, and today. This mothering thing, I always wanted to do it. I endured two C-sections, years of intense parenting, and I wouldn’t give up a second of it. But in my soul, I know it’s bigger than that.
Mother’s Day was originally a peace and friendship holiday, then got taken over and run amok by Hallmark. It’s Spring. There is birthing going on. I found a robin’s egg, sundered. A baldish hatchling entered the world or one of the aggressive Blue Jays had a meal.
I sat by our new koi pond, and watched the iridescent gold and white bodies flick through the water, some with telltale bulges of spawning yet to come.
And I talked with my own dog-baby, who does not replace my girls, though they have accused me of that. It’s about birth, I think. Nurturing the seed. Growing the fine shoot into a sapling and beyond. Acknowledging that birth is what happens if we want, as Disney put it, the circle of life. Simple? No. Worth celebrating? Hell yeah.