On Mothers

It’s Mother’s Day. As I write “On Mothers” on Mother’s Day from my mother’s table (which is really my mother’s mother’s old dining room table), I’m lost in the incessant combination of the word “mother” and the various prepositions I can pair with it. A few hours ago, my parents went to lunch at a family friend’s and I went to my kitchen cabinet with a spoon on the hunt for a jar of peanut butter. Just now, my parents loudly returned, my mother already finding something to freak out about–I can tell because she’s using that tone of voice–and I’m sitting here thinking, I’m supposed to write a post dedicated to that?

Today is the one day a year when girls can dress like complete sluts and no one can say anything about it. Just kidding, thats Halloween circa Mean Girls. But today IS the one day a year when we all feel this overwhelming pressure to be incredibly adoring to the women who fought against the forces of gravity like pro-WWE wrestlers to evict us from their birth canals. These women are not just labeled strong in the Instagram captions we so carefully worded this morning, but they are strong by default: before you were born, they were the brick houses.

My mom is an extra cool mom. She had a nose ring before I did. She’s had the same pair of Uggs since 1985 and wore Birkenstocks when they were in style, then when they went out of style, and now as they are in style, once again. She does Crossfit. SHE DOES CROSSFIT, PEOPLE! She cried tears of joy the first time I approached her about going on “the” pill. She loves Free People, and roller coasters, and isn’t afraid of anything.

I think moms are supposed to be the ones to teach you stuff that shouldn’t be taught, but needs to be. Sure, she should tell you not to be stupid, and to put friends before boys, and to say “please” and “thank you.” But what they don’t fully disclose is that moms are the ones who need to tell you it’s ok to make a white lie every once in a while, and it’s ok to hurt someone if it means feeling better about yourself. Moms remind us to be young when we start acting too old. They want us to mess up, but only if we’re going to learn. Moms teach us how to eat too much, how to take it like a man when we do eat too much, and how to realize that we shouldn’t eat too much like that again. They teach us self-respect–whatever self-respect a girl has, she learned from her mother–but does so while making sure we aren’t left in the dark about the three B’s: boys, birds, and bees.

Some people don’t like Mother’s Day because it’s something Hallmark invented to make extra bank. These people say we should appreciate our mamas every day, so why create this corporate universe in which we can love a little less most of the time so that we can love a little more for 24 hours? Well, in my opinion, why not? Why not give them 365 plus one? If Christopher Columbus can have a day, then they can have a day. End of story.

Kids don’t have a holiday, but our moms never hesitated to make one day extra awesome every once in a while.

When you were little, you danced all. the. time. But Mommy still got you flowers on the one day it really counted.

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Your mom wanted you to be the first kid on the playground with bold eyebrows. Chic.

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She taught you to perfectly balance “new age feminism” and “the art of bitchin’ in the kitchen.”

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Let’s be real: she taught you how to give the sweetest kisses.

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She taught you how to sh-sh-shake it like a Polaroid picture.

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My mom gave me my love of overalls, which I am eternally grateful for.

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So let’s celebrate Mother’s Day even though it isn’t a real thing. And even though it’s the one holiday where we really have to use our own money to buy a gift (because using Mom’s money for Dad’s gift is fine, but using Mom’s money for Mom’s gift is slightly pushing it).

In the grand scheme of things, Mother’s Day is like a Post-it note. Remember Mom! Remember Mom!

And as my mother continues to speak way above the necessary volume level to another couple outside, I’m thinking, with a voice like that, how could I ever forget?



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