Lots of things change — um, everything changes — when you have a kid. We all know that. But this week I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how my view of Mother’s Day has changed.
For one thing, I assumed mom wanted stuff for Mother’s Day. I put a lot of mental energy into finding just the right thing to make her happy, rarely feeling like I’d really succeeded, even though she always seemed grateful and pleased. But now that I’m a mom myself, Mother’s Day as an occasion to rake in more stuff doesn’t really cross my mind. I much more value the pampering, the kind gestures and — sure, I’ll admit it — the little bit of time off from being a mother that I often finagle by way of a solo trip to the record store or maybe just a coffee shop for a little peace and quiet. Bet my mom felt the same way back then.
But the main change, of course, is perspective. I get now why there’s a Mother’s Day, though I can’t fathom why it only comes once a year, and not monthly or even weekly (wouldn’t the flower industry love that?). It’s not about stuff, or even gestures. It’s about stopping for a second to think, and to marvel, about how mom has shaped you — and how you, as a mom, are shaping someone else. It’s a celebration of moms throughout the world and throughout time. The sacrifices, the fun, the comfort, the lessons and the laughter. It’s an acknowledgement of the power of women at home and far beyond, and an appreciation of having and being a mom — bonds that aren’t like any other in our lives.
So thanks, mom, for everything. I’ve got a little gift for you, but my main Mother’s Day activity (when I’m afforded the opportunity to sit and think thoughts) will be to think about and appreciate what you’ve done for me and what, through your example, I’ve learned to do for my own daughter. No bauble can repay that, but I hope that I can pay it forward as a tribute.