As Mother’s Day approaches those of us who are lucky enough to have a great mom, and lucky enough to still have her here on earth with us, race to Hallmark to find that perfect sentiment that we haven’t the energy or imagination to conjure on our own. If we search the racks long enough we find the one we swear was written just for our mom. And we’re glad someone else knew just what to say.
I’ve done my card duty. For all those moms closest to me, in fact. But, while I enjoyed a kid-less moment on the greeting card isles, I realized something. The fact that I was able to find a perfectly unique card for each one made me think that we mothers aren’t as unique as we think. And that kind of bummed me out! I saw myself as a wonderfully unique mother to my 3 boys. But if there are 7 cards for sale that fit me perfectly, they must also describe 7 million other mom’s across America or else Hallmark would only make roughly $1.99 per design.
So my question is… Are all us moms basically the same drone performing the same task of rearing the young? ( barring psychopaths and cannibals, of course)? Or are we the Queen Bee we imagine ourselves to be?… bestowing unique love and experiences; irreplaceable in the hearts of our babies?
I think the answer is yes. To both.
My works as a mom are a lot like yours…..Every morning I trudge down the hall to raise the dead from their bunk beds. I gather back packs and scream them all into the car to get them to school without a tardy slip. I buy a grocery cart full of practical foods. And I splurge on a few not so practical ones just cause it makes them smile. But, I probably won’t get a “thank you” since its believed that groceries just magically appear in the fridge and pantry. And that’s okay.
I’ll pick up those new baseball socks and swim goggles. Wash incessant loads of underwear and socks. I will even remember to pick the children up at school. I’ll read 4 more books than I said I would at bed time. I’ll go on and on about every scribble they make on paper. Laugh at their ridiculously pointless jokes. Yell like they hit it out of the park when they hit a ground ball 2 inches from home plate. Answer every impossible question they concoct to the best of my brain aching ability. Rub ointment on their cuts and chapped butts, and sunscreen everywhere else while they holler in protest. We’ll have triangle shaped pancakes with green syrup on Saturdays and a frozen casserole between sporting events too often to admit. I’ll let them creep in my bed for a snuggle when lightening strikes and even when it doesn’t and they just need a squeeze. I’ll threaten punishments I’ll never follow through on and surprise attack them when they leave their bath towel in a puddle for the 15th time this week. I’ll refuse to let them play video games another minute, but let them fish in the ditch til dark. I’ll complain about them whining like babies, but quietly cry that they are growing too fast.
Then, I’ll kiss them good night and whisper, “I love you too much.” Just like every good mom knows they do deep down.
But…I bet you don’t do a Stitch impression every night while putting your 3 yr old to bed. Or know the meaning of our secret code, “nose,butterfly, ear, forehead, lips”. And even if you did, you wouldn’t do it right.
Cause you’re just a mom. I am Mom, with a capital “M”.
Even today, at the age of
none ya business, no one makes me feel more at ease and can take away that lonely feeling like Mom. On the front lawn of the elementary school moms swarm around my boys as they emerge from the double doors at the end of the day. But when they lay eyes on Mom their faces light up. They see only one. Her name is Mom.
The difference between an object (mom) and a proper noun (Mom) is the key to our individuality as mothers. All others are mothers, but I am Mom. That is my name and it belongs to no one else, according to my kids. I’m irreplaceable, one of a kind, and no one Hallmark card captures my originality, though many describe me and even tease my imperfections and glitches.
So this Mother’s Day when you can’t narrow the card selection down from the oodles that describe your mom, just grab one (or 2 if you must), and remember to address it to, Mom. She’s unique in that she’s yours. I may have bought the same card for mine. But your’s could never replace her. Cause mine is, Mom.
And I am theirs.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!