I’m sure many people share this sentiment. I’ve seen posts from women who have recently lost their mothers, expressing their sorrow at spending this day without her. I know there are many people whose mothers were never there at all, or who were there but would have been better off elsewhere.
I understand that all mothers are not perfect.
But this is hard to remember on a day when all I see on my Facebook feed is post after post celebrating the kind of mothers that dominate the friend group of a homeschooling Christian. The idealized image of the cookie-baking, house-keeping, child-rearing mom that this holiday seems made to showcase. I see tribute after tribute to these perfect, perfect mothers, and all I can do is purse my lips and summon up the few memories I have of my own mother– back when she could still be called that.
Once upon a time I had a hard-working, self-sacrificing, magic-touch mother, who held me close and sang me to sleep, held me on her lap while I dozed in church, brought me Chick-Fil-A before rehearsal, read silly books to me until her voice echoed in every line.
Then, one day, my magic-touch mother got sick.
And she never got better.
It started slow, with difficulty in remembering routes, in seemingly harmless slips of memory. But soon she could barely drive, then couldn’t drive at all, only sit in the passenger seat and read road signs to me. She got sicker and sicker, more and more like a little child, and somehow, somehow, I had to be her mother. And my little sister’s mother. And my own.
Now, my mother can barely speak. She smiles vaguely when I say I love her, and I wonder if she knows who I am.
And so when I read your inane poetry about the generic perfect mother, when I read inspirational quotes about this mythical creature, when I read cute little statuses about how much Mom means, every single word screams at me “Look at what you’re missing!”
But still, I wish you all the greatest joy this Mother’s Day. Honor her while you have the opportunity, and remember how blessed you are.