Because I feel the pressure of obligations fiercely, I choose to keep the celebration of holidays, including Mother’s Day, small. I honor my mother, mother-in-law and a few dear women who are like mothers to me with cards and thoughtful gifts. But for myself, I let my sons off the hook. No flowers or gifts are needed. They are fine men who call often to share the details of their daily lives. And they listen to the stories of my life, too. One recommends new books and museums and picture-worthy places. He knows just what to say. The other helps me detangle the workings of our computer and researches the pros and cons of practical purchases for things we need. He makes me laugh. He’s old enough to appreciate his upbringing. And kind enough to say so out loud.
Every day is Mother’s Day for me. I know this. I am deeply appreciative. I do not wallow in the arguments or times we went toe-to-toe. I do not beat myself up for the mistakes I made in parenting. I do not hide from the reality of anxiety and depression that sometimes grips our family. I do not hold on too tightly. I give more compliments than advice. My sons are the best parts of me and I’ve learned more from them than the other way around.
Even though they don’t much like to have their picture made these days, they will always be my favorite photography subjects. I loved them first and I will always love them most.