If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy! Well that’s the way it should be, at least on Mother’s Day. Twenty-four hours, or 1,440 minutes. That’s not too much to ask from a family, is it? For all that mothers do?
If you’re reading this magazine, chances are you have young ones in your life in one way or another. And if you’re a mom, you might be that sandwich generation. Not that you need to make sandwiches — which I’m sure you are making plenty!
The sandwich generation is sandwiched between their children and their parents. Perhaps you’re the daughter taking care of your kids, and you may have parents or other older relatives who need you, too. (If you don’t yet, trust me, you’re just a few years from it. And when it happens, it comes fast and furious, just like in the movies.)
Related: Making the Right Change: Elders and their families have options for the next phase of life
So on Mother’s Day for 86,400 seconds, let’s celebrate “us” while we celebrate our moms, too. What about a multigenerational brunch with all the moms in your life coming together?
I’m not alone in thinking mothers need to be honored with a special day. Mother’s Day is celebrated in 46 countries around the world. Most folks give their moms a card and some flowers.
My favorite gift from my son was when he was little and made cards in elementary school. Those small presents from the heart are still the most charming gifts we can ever receive. Even though he’s now 29, I just peeked back at my eldest son’s early work. My mother just moved; as we were about to leave her home of 14 years, someone asked if anyone knew what was in a cabinet 12 feet up in the air with no knob or handle. When we pried it open, there was a shoebox, filled with my son’s early artwork. I was charmed. His cursive signature was so carefully penciled in on the dotted-line paper. (As an adult, his signature is a scribble.)
This year for Mother’s Day, I want to set the table with all the kids’ artwork. Forget the fancy table settings. No centerpieces for us. Those handprints, drawings, ceramics and painted pieces are their love notes to us. This Mother’s Day I want to be reminded that perfection doesn’t mean the table is perfectly set, with the napkins properly placed and silverware polished to a shine. It means little hands helped make the meal—and perhaps big ones, too. It means a family or friends came together to celebrate.
As a mother many times over—biological, stepmother, grandmother and surrogate — I realize what I really want for Mother’s Day doesn’t come wrapped in a bow. It doesn’t grow in the ground or get delivered by a florist. What I want for Mother’s Day is really so simple: It’s to be loved. To be recognized for not being a friend when I need to be a parent; for cleaning up messes when a child (no matter what age) was sick. I want them to know that even though they’re growing, they will always get “advice” (it comes with the job title) because they will always be our kids. And no matter what, we will always love them, to the moon and back!
From one mother to another: Happy Mother’s Day, ladies! You deserve to be revered for at least 24 hours!