Today is mother’s day. I go to my Facebook page and browse. I see lots and lots of pictures and of course all the “to all you wonderful mothers” and “amazing mothers” and so many lovely wishes.
I drove my mom to the church today and walked back. I wanted to be sure the path to the building was shoveled and that there was someone there that would walk her to her car after the service. She didn’t get a breakfast date or a big shiny gift. She didn’t even get a card. She got something for her garden that I knew she wanted and because we had snow last night I printed out a sheet of pictures of some of her flowers from years gone by.
Yesterday I got her walker out and we walked around her flower beds so she could look for beetles on her lilies. When we know she’ll be driving to the church we back her car in so she can drive out instead of having to back out. I make sure one of us keeps her bird feeder filled so she can watch her birds. Sometimes it’s just letting her do things I could do for her because at 89 she struggles with losing her independence.
In Max’s 25 years I have only ever gotten a couple mother’s day gifts, back when he was in elementary school and they made them. Most years if someone didn’t remind him he wouldn’t remember to say happy mother’s day. What he does do is ask if I need anything when he leaves the room, he started telling me “I love you” a while back. He does this at night, when one of us is going away or after phone calls. He wrote this wonderful blog for mother’s day last year that was a surprise and still makes me teary.
I can be cynical sometimes. I am aware of this. Is it being cynical to feel like Facebook and other social media makes it too easy to say what everyone else is saying without thinking of the consequences for everyone? What if you’re not a wonderful mother? What if you suck at mothering? What if you suck at mothering because you didn’t want kids but got pregnant because you weren’t paying attention? What if you wanted your kids but never got shown how to be a “good” mom?What if you lost your child? What if you lost your mom? What if you’re a single dad raising your kids alone?
I don’t know where the line between cynicism and empathy lies. If it weren’t for Facebook how many people would go out of their way to say anything to more than one or two people? I know that most of us show our families love every day in many ways. I hope so anyway.