I’m just going to come out and say that I’m not a fan of Mother’s Day. This is not because I believe that mother’s shouldn’t be celebrated. I think that being a mother is one of the most selfless (and under-appreciated) things to be. And I understand that Mother’s Day was set up so that there’s an official day where we all say: “Hey Ma, we get it. You do a lot and you rock.” But I also think it’s kind of a cop-out. “Well…we show our gratitude to Mom on Mother’s Day, so we can be dicks the rest of the year.” I’m sure someone somewhere has uttered those exact words. I guess my point is that I think that we should treat our mothers as if it’s Mother’s Day every day. It’s not a novel idea: it’s basically the Scrooged theory (ya know, act like you do on Christmas Day every day).
At the very least, I know that my mom deserves a Mother’s Day every day. Not only did she do a pretty damn fine job raising some tempestuous children, she enjoyed it so much she went pro (working at a daycare).
My sister and I had the classic “Momma’s Boy/Daddy’s Girl” family dynamic. Which is not to say that I don’t get along with my dad. We’ve been known to have some solid father/son times over a fine whiskey and limited conversation. I think the dynamic just worked out that way because my sister and I are so much like my mother and father, respectively, that the differences in personalities work (much like how my mom and dad work). It’s actually the things that differentiate myself from my mom that I find so endearing.
For instance, my mom has this ability to go with the flow. The idea of just “letting things happen” is harrowing to me. I need to strategize about the schedule to make the plan, if ya get my drift. But my mom has always been able to let things happen naturally, the way the universe intended. It’s a total hippie mentality (she’s got the street cred of going to the original Woodstock), and I have no clue how she does it. That being said, it’s incredibly comforting when you’re having an existential crisis to be able to talk to someone who is able to say “chill out, dude, it’s all gonna figure itself out.”
The personality quirk that I envy the most, though, is her mastery of laughing off a situation. In spite of a lifetime of being laughed at, both intentionally and unintentionally, I still haven’t been able to truly laugh off an embarrassing situation. When embarrassing or awkward things happen (and happen they do…often), I try my best to own it and laugh it off, but I’m still dying inside. Why, just the other night I incorrectly attributed the line “Gotta keep ‘em separated” to Cake (made doubly worse because it was going to be a killer punchline for a funny I made). I know it’s The Offspring. I don’t know why I said Cake (might have to do with a thing called a Gatorita). Everyone laughed. I laughed. Inside I hated myself for such a silly mistake. But my mom is truly able to laugh these types of things off. To the point that she can be doubled over in laughter, gasping for air, over something that most other people would be so embarrassed about they’d be pissed off. There are really only two people I’ve met who have been able to do this. My mother and my grandmother.
So what does it all mean? That because of the connection I have with my mom, and her unique, easygoing insight on life, I’m supposed to forgo the pleasantries today? Hell no! I’m going to call my mom like the good son I am. Because, at the end of the day, it’s still nice to give a shout out to my mom for doing what she does. My mom may not overtly care about such silly “official” things like Mother’s Day, but I know that she still appreciates the love.
Besides, I’ve been planning on what to say for the past month.