This Sunday, many of us will dutifully send off $8 Hallmark cards to the woman who pushed us out of her twat. Those of us who won't spend money on roses for the people we choose to love on Valentine's Day will instead pay overinflated prices for dyed daisies on street corners to send to women who meddle in our lives, criticize our choices, and bring us closer to death with their incessant nagging.
The same people who complain that Valentine's Day isn't a real holiday are the first people to go for brunch on Mother's Day. "I don't need Hallmark to tell me when to love my husband" they say, "I love him all year round."
Okay, so maybe your mother is not worth celebrating. Maybe you browsed the card stores marinating in sappy sentiments, and found not one card that expressed yours:
Hey Mom. Thanks for always forgetting me at soccer practice. Don't worry, it only rained about half the time, and I probably would have caught pneumonia anyway.
Dear Mom. I guess you cut me out of your will because I'm such a disappointment. I'd wish you a happy Mother's Day but you probably threw this out without opening it.
Hi Mom. Remember how you used to tell me I'd never amount to anything? Well now you're rotting away in an old folks' home and I'm summering at my cottage on the lake. Ha. Happy Mother's Day.
But whether your mother is special or just "special", chances are you have someone in your life that deserves tribute. Of our 3 mothers, we did send a gift to Jason's Mom.
Yes, you heard right. Jason's Mom.
Over the years she has driven both of us crazy. She shows too much skin, she's a hypochondriac and a complainer, she has strings of bad boyfriends, and she whines if Jason doesn't call her enough but doesn't believe in paying long distance rates herself. But we love her, and not just because we have to. I remind myself that accidentally or not (although I suspect yes), Jason turned into that man I consider worth marrying because she raised him, or was at least present while he raised himself. Or mostly present. I mean, she slept off her hangovers in the same house where he slept, except on the weekends he was successfully farmed out to his dad.
Oh my. Did that sound a bit bitter?
Well, thank goodness it's only mother's day. You should hear me in June. I mean, technically both Jason and I must have grown from some form of sperm, but there's no evidence of this these days. I don't recognize any father in any form, and Jason's dad...well, we saw him last summer. At the funeral. The funeral we had to learn about in the newspaper because Jason's dad can't be bothered to write down our phone number or address when we send it to him. Who has never indicated that he knows when Jason's birthday is, who never knows what Jason does for a living, who apparently never even wonders who the packages we send them come from.
I think that when Jason's dad had a daughter (you know, by the woman with whom he cheated on his wife), he forget he ever had a son. And it makes me achy in my heart because I see Jason reaching out and being ignored, wanting a relationship with a man who doesn't give him the time of day, trying to forge something where a father-son link should exist, but where the father thing exists in the head but not the heart.
This week is hard at our house. The mother thing has always been tenuous for one reason or another, and mother's day is quickly followed by Jason's sister's birthday. I have watched him wander around the mall, unable to find the perfect gift or any gift because the little girl he knew has turned into a young woman and Jason didn't see it happen. He doesn't know how big she's gotten, or what her tastes are, if she looks like him, if she likes school or boys or Britney Spears (though he hopes not on both those last counts). He doesn't know her, nor will he probably ever really know his dad, whose birthday comes just a couple days after that.
So we sent a card to Jason's Mom because she's the only family we've got.
And we celebrate uterus day the only way we know how: we take our hearts, mangled from our broken families, and we make them whole by celebrating that we don't have kids. That I'm not a mother, nor will I ever be. We toast the fact that my uterus is as dysfunctional as the rest of me, that I lack the craving for kids that 99% of adults share. That our marriage will always be just the two of us, and that we will spend our lives filling the holes that parents have created for us.
And it's not bad.