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Monday, May 9, 2011

Retrospective Mothers Day

I had received a card in the mail during the week from my eldest.
It had a cute little map showing me where to go to a local shop that was holding my present for me. So sweet and a wonderful surprise.
It has been a bit of a tradition over the years for the girls to ask me what I want and my reply is always the same;
"Clean bedrooms"
I still get ridiculously excited when I walk into their rooms, now as grown ups, and they are clean and tidy.

As Mothers Day dawned I felt quite sad and sorry for myself; Mother is away in France and has been for the last couple of months and both the girls were in Hobart. I felt quite jealous of all the facebook announcements of lunches, dinners, love etc etc.
At around 12.30 Emma walked through the gate surprising me with a quick visit. I was elated and excited.
Together we visited the cemetery and put flowers on my Grandmothers grave as is custom.
It gives us a special moment to bring into focus someone very special, gone but not forgotten.
It is a time for family stories and oral history and binding memories.

I had a frank discussion with Emma as we walked around the cemetery about my feelings of despondency before she arrived and my elation of her visit.
Of course they are some normal feelings but I talked with her candidly about feeling just a little ridiculous that I allow myself to get caught up in the expectations and hoopla that the commercial side that this day tries to persuade us is the norm.
She in turn spoke frankly with me about her feelings for the day and expectations she knows is placed on other friends her age.
Very interesting conversation.
We also, not surprising given our surroundings, pondered the feelings of those without their mothers, especially for the first time. The cemetery was filled with visitors. Some have made the journey many times but for others it was a raw emotional first time.
For some families, they will be celebrating their very first with new babies, starting out on the precipice of new traditions.

Mothers Day in fact means many things for different people. Flowers and presents are lovely but it is the opportunity to reconnect and focus on women in our lives that is special.
A celebration of maternal nurturing which is not exclusive to those who have birthed but to all who have mothered and been mothered.
I sincerely hope you all had a beautiful Mothers Day.
I think you are extremely lucky indeed if yours was as soul searching and illuminating as mine.

7 comments:

  1. Mother's Day is always a roller coaster. This year was typical. Called my mom across the country, who didn't acknowledge the gift I sent her. Called her step-mom, in another corner of the country, because I knew my mom wouldn't. Asked my dad to please call his mom, but of course he refused, saying they'd spoken yesterday. She lives in town, so we picked her up and spent the day together. Told her my gift was from her son (my dad). She made the decision to believe that was the case. Told me even though I was adopted, she was glad I was around. Then she bragged to Mr. Boom's family how great all her real grandchildren are doing.
    My daughter gave me a painting of a tulip from our garden and the race-car from her breakfast cereal box. She also made cupcakes.
    Every Mother's Day I realize my greatest hope is that she doesn't grow up to be the doormat her mother is, but neither do I want her to be the emotionless pit her grandparents are.
    I think a mom's biggest challenge is teaching balance.

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  2. I enjoyed your post Tanya.
    Sometimes it's hard to face mothers day.
    Glad you had a nice day.
    Christ

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  3. Hey Tanya,it can be such a day of mixed emotions for all sorts of reasons.

    Mother's Day my way would be perfectly peachy but those little plans remain tucked away and never mentioned.

    Instead I enjoy what ever the day brings and know that it's not just about one day but every day.

    My best of gift of all was my son, my only child who made me a mother
    When he says " come here mum and give us a hug we haven't had one for a while (all of 24 hours)" that's what makes my day. Yes, a clean bedroom would be great too...........

    Hope your day ended on a high.

    Beautiful and sunny here today but I think I might be dragging out the WInter woollies we're heading for a cold snap which I think you will be sharing as well.........

    Claire ::}

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  4. My apologies for the spelling mistake in my name.
    It has worried me and didn't know how to fix it.
    Goodness, how one letter changes everything.
    Chris

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  5. You have a wonderful way with words :))
    I am pleased your daughter surprised you, young ppl seem so busy these days,an hour spent with them is a treasure :))

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  6. Your words are and thoughts are wonderful, I always look forward to your insight :)

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  7. great post Tanya, my daughter of 18 really doesn't think Mother's Day means anything but my 12 yo still wants to spoil me and make things for me which is lovely and I treasure that. I am not into making a fuss of the day. In recent years it has just been a great excuse for getting a craft book or art supplies I needed!! I see mum a lot and always like to do things for her/look after her if she needs it etc etc so when a few years ago she was wanting to plan a big lunch and my sister and I just weren't into it I tried to explain to her I feel Mother's Day is all the time as we love to be with her and have her to stay a lot etc and why couldn't we just have afternoon tea or something simple but she seemed quite upset because she always put on a hot lunch on Mother's Day for her Mum when we were growing up and yet she was doing all the work, except washing up. We loved spoiling her with breakfast in bed, picking flowers from the garden for her tray and buying a little pressie with our pocket money(we didn't have a dad to help us) and I do think that kind of joy has disappeared a lot now. My eldest wouldn't even think to get me breakfast in bed which I must admit does hurt as I don't expect much from the day at all, it IS a commerical day, so if she ever did it off her own back it would be lovely
    just for that little bit of appreciation. I am lucky enough to still get that everyday from my 12 yo but how long will that last? She may be different

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