Friday, May 26, 2006

A Post-Mother's Day Post

A Post-Mother’s Day Post (May 19, 2006)

Mother’s Day has come and gone. The flowers that my brothers brought are still sitting on the table: petals of the red Tulip have been blown back, looking like some prehistoric creature-some insect maybe, or a dragon, even-beautiful, but deadly and the yellow daffodil-a papier-mâché star so delicate. I should probably throw them away, but they hold a beauty now, different from when they were fresh and waxy, that I find it hard to do so.

This year was only my second Mother’s Day to celebrate officially, but this particular day always seems to have had strange events floating around it. I don’t know if strange is the appropriate word. Perhaps, ‘highly charged emotional events that can be strange’ is a better fit.

This year, over the Mother’s Day weekend, the moon was full (on Saturday) and in Scorpio (my Sun Sign). Full Moon in Scorpio is intense, at its mildest; ferociously abrasive at the opposite end of the spectrum. The reverberations could be felt into Sunday. I pay attention to these things, you know. It’s hard not to when your mother, the astrologer, gives you these tidbits to mull over.

It had been dark and raining all weekend, not a spot of sunshine to lift our moods in the slightest.

The day started off with my daughter clawing at me to wake up, and then screamed all morning. There didn’t seem to anything terribly wrong with her: she’s just two. When I couldn’t take the screaming anymore-short bursts alternated with the whiney scream, continuously- I handed her over to the Grandparents for about an hour while I went on a calming walk. Of course, she was fine with them. No screaming. We apparently just needed a mama-daughter break. It helped. But, she still continued to fire off short bursts every so often when I came back.

By the time bedtime rolled around, I was mentally and physically drained. I was looking forward to a quiet, peaceful moment to myself-no noise-at least fifteen minutes worth, before I went to sleep. So what happens? The people upstairs just arrive home, making what seems to be an obscene amount of noise: stomping and others unidentifiable. Then comes the dog from upstairs: barking for about 20 minutes without any break. Forget about a quiet moment…

Last year (my first official Mother’s Day), was a mess: a court date was set to settle child support for my daughter with her father the day after Mother’s Day. Talk about highly charged emotional events!

Another year, I found out I was pregnant a few days before Mother’s Day but could not keep it. Another highly charged emotional event-to say the least.

I would much prefer flowers to the onslaught of chaotic emotional upheaval that seems to correlate with this day.

Who’s to say what will happen in future years, though? Mother’s Day is just a day, after all, just as Father’s Day is just a day used today as a huge marketing advantage. Perhaps that is part of the chaos: the collective stress of a holiday, the need to buy cards and gifts so there is not too much guilt to be felt towards mothers and fathers.

This Mother’s Day, though, I found real beauty in the fresh flowers, despite the darkness of the day. They radiated color and life on that day, more than what any other expensive gift or card could do, and do so even now taking on the appearances of stars and insects.

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1 comment:

Sam said...

Yes, Mother's day is often charged, I feel the collective expectation that this day should be SO special, but what happens when it's just another day? What if the extent to this momentous occasion is that the kid screams all day and you get to watche flowers loose their bloom? One year for me, I took Emmett to Friendly's for burgers, fries, and ice cream, a real treat, but driving home all I felt was emptiness consumed over my constantly meeting the needs of my then two-year-old, and loving him every minute of it, and being so lonely and unfulfilled every other minute of it. Or, actually, all these emotions at the same time.
Anyway, I'll have to dig up my old "Mother's Day Driving Home" poem" but I think your piece is beautifully written, and shows the complexity of "artificial" holidays with the expectations and the reality of the need to celebrate your motherhood on this day, or any day, or, better yet, EVERYDAY!