Without coercion.

Posted: May 9, 2010 in Insight
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Today’s Mother’s Day. Hundreds of thousands of you have rushed to online stores and flower shops to find last minute gifts for your mothers, not because you forgot about them, but because life has required attention elsewhere prior. That’s not just a lame excuse, right?


This isn’t a common occurrence with JUST Mother’s Day, it’s most holidays. And not for everyone; some of you have gifts and cards and parties planned weeks and months before the given holiday. Fuck you, you make the rest of us look bad. But seriously, Mother’s Day is one of those holidays that shouldn’t be coerced. I can appreciate that there is one day a year that is solely dedicated to mothers…just mothers. But I also feel that the role of motherhood is one that requires constant and sporadic appreciation. For those of you who are mothers reading this, you know what I’m talking about. Pat yourselves on the back. It’s ok, no one’s going to call you egoists today. Tomorrow, maybe. And for those of you reading this who are NOT mothers, you have absolutely no idea what they go through. I’m a male, so I obviously don’t either. But I was given a pretty good example of what mothers should be, for the entirety of my life. So though I have never birthed a child through my naughtybits, or raised and pretended to like the most obnoxious living organism ever created until it reached eighteen years old, or had to clean up puke and vomit from….fill in the blank, or had to wake up at 4 in the morning to drive screaming and yelling kids to hockey practice in the middle of winter with a temperature of -10, or cook, clean and slave for an ungrateful family of idiots and whiners, or had to maintain the most demanding social job, an actual career, and still find time for myself to make sure my hair hadn’t completely fallen out…I have seen all of this firsthand and can tell you that the hell that they go through deserves far more than one day of coerced appreciation. Don’t just thank them. Don’t just hug them. Don’t just tell them you love them. Don’t just stop by for dinner to catch up. SHOW them, appreciate them, adore them, and give back to them half of what they’ve given you. Make them feel your love and appreciation. Write them random letters or emails to remind them that you appreciate the amount of wrinkles they’ve acquired due to you and your annoyances. Or, write a blog in hopes of them reading it and understanding that though you’ve failed at being as great of a son or daughter as they have been a mom, you always have the intent to show or tell them all of the aforementioned, and that you’re going to stop failing at it.

No more being ambiguous. My mom is better than yours, and though you can’t see my face as it’s glued to this laptop screen, I am sticking my tongue out at you. All of you. I’m sure your moms are great, but mine exemplifies all that is motherhood.

My family wasn’t well-off when I was growing up. My mom worked retail and eventually started her own daycare and school, while my dad was at the hospital and traveling on-call constantly. Though their schedules were intensely demanding, they still made time for my sister and I. Always. No matter what. Never a single excuse. And when I was young, about 4-6 or 7ish, I would go downtown with my dad or grandma to pick my mom up from JC Pennys, and she would always show Aimee, my sister, and I off to her co-workers or random shoppers. Though I was young, it made me feel like the world’s greatest kid. Mom’s should feel that, constantly. Anyway, even after working a long and exhausting day, she would still get off work and take me shopping with her. I loved it. And today, I’m a shopaholic and I can’t help it. My bills are always paid and I have plenty of excess, but a lot of my income goes to…shopping. I realized recently that it’s not only because I love clothes and neato stuff in general, but also because it’s something I’ve acquired from my mom, and I want as much of her character in me as is humanly possible. That might just be a ridiculous excuse to continue to spend stupid amounts of money shopping, but it does keep a part of my mom with me always, even though I’m now in Arizona and she’s 1,385 miles away in Washington.

Anyway, ramble, ramble, ramble…I get sidetracked easily, especially when shopping is mentioned. The point is that my mom has suffered through a lot…more than I can put into a single blog, unless the two of you reading this want to spend the next three months discussing all of my mother’s conquerings. Long story short, she’s had cancer, had surgery to remove it, had it again, had more surgeries, and has had medical problems for the past 15 years. All the while, in pain far worse than most can understand, she’s managed to keep my extended family together, keep up my grandparent’s household as she is their caretaker. She cooks and cleans and taxis my grandparents to and from hospital appointments, educates and teaches my youngest sister, Michaela, who’s a straight A 4.0 student, while participating in tennis, volleyball, basketball and orchestra. Where do you think Michaela gets that from? She exemplifies all that is my mother. Though my sister Aimee and I have done well for ourselves, all things considered, Michaela has had the benefit of my mom’s complete attention and devotion toward her schooling and extracurricular activities. Most people, mom’s and the like, are not awake for as many hours a day as my mom is working, mending and persevering through her rigorous demands. My mom is Super Woman. Step aside, Lynda Carter.

If any of you are still reading with me, thanks. Like I said, I could keep you here hours more telling you about how amazing MY mother is. But instead, I’m going to call her and tell her, not you. You should all do the same. Not just today on Mother’s Day, but anytime she crosses your mind. Life’s all about the little details.

Happy Mother’s Day, mom.

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  1. Jordyn says:

    And amidst all of the formentioned she manages to help me raise my adorable (yet highly demanding 16 month old). I have said this before but I have absolutely no problem saying it again, she has been more of a blessing to my life then words could even begin to do justice. You have inspired me dear cousin to strive to be the kind of mother your mom has been so that my child will be writing random blogs about me on the internet one day. Thank you Patty for all you do. Happy mothers day!

  2. The Truth says:

    The TRUTH is that any gift or card that you get for ANY special occasion, (mothers day, fathers day, your birthday, christmas) is completely and utterly meaningless.

    OH, it’s Mothers day tomorrow I guess I HAVE to go and get mom something. Any forced gratitude is pointless.

    The worst of these days is, you guessed it VALENTINES DAY!!!

    How about this, if there is someone you care about send them a card randomly.. buy them a gift for no reason… How many times have you sent your Mom a card when there was absolutely no reason to? NEVER??…you don’t say….hhmmm……

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