We are not an extremely demonstrative family. Or at least I do not remember occasions being a huge deal in my childhood. Birthdays were celebrated with some gusto, and anniversaries as well. But the rest of the huge number of occasions entered our consciousness only when greeting card companies like Archie’s and Hallmark began to sort of throw them in our face sometime in the ’90s!
This is still the norm, mostly. So when a friend suggested we go out for a Mothers Day Brunch tomorrow, it set me thinking. Is this just an excuse for an outing that wasn’t coming together otherwise? Or are we genuinely going to celebrate motherhood in some way tomorrow? At dinner time today, the kids’ Dadi, my mother in law, urged them to make a card for me. The kids’ dad, Rahul, suggested they just let me have a fun day. Go easy on me! The kids looked pretty bewildered. And so was I! This was a first for our family. Aadyaa looked like she wanted to say she makes a card for me most days of her life, or a drawing of some kind!
The scene reminded me of Namita Bhandare’s editorial on the subject in the Hindustan Times today, which went several steps further to remind us of less fortunate mothers in the world on such a day- is it Mother’s Day or Mothers’ Day?
Personally, I wear motherhood quite lightly nowadays. It used to be stressful when the kids were very small and I was constantly judging myself as a parent. It is less so now because I refuse to make those kind of judgements. But in either situation, my mommy self was never lacking for love and respect from my kids and the rest of my family, friends, etc. Like Namita says, it isn’t about the card (and this is how I am really lucky!).
To the mums out there- There are zillion ways for your family to appreciate you and as many ways for you to read the signs of appreciation! Don’t punish yourself by waiting for stereotypical gestures that the movies and the media have made fashionable. Look into your children’s eyes, hug them and every day is Mothers Day!
To the grown-ups who are also kiddos out there (and that is advice I am going to follow as well tomorrow), don’t run all over town finding that crazy gift for mummy dear. Make that card! For mummies of that generation who never expected one, it will mean a lot!
In our family, when I was growing up, we weren’t too big on celebrations. The main festivals and birthdays were definitely made special, usually by modest gifts and perhaps a meal out to a favored restaurant! When the Archie’s and Hallmark cards and other sundry brands manufactured several new occasions to celebrate, we hardly ever subscribed to these and Mothers’ Day fell into this category of occasions to be scoffed at, made fun of, acknowledged but not made a big deal of.
Now I’m a mother myself; the institution of motherhood signifies a great deal more to me than it did before. I have come to appreciate in the past few years that the mother-child relationship is at once the strongest and yet, the most sensitive in our lives. My children instinctively know when I am sad or upset, even when I think I’m outwardly normal in my behavior. My mother always knows my moods, even if she has the sense to not question me about them all the time, but only when she really feels I need the concern. As a mother, I feel responsible for my children and give them the kind of unconditional love I didn’t think existed before I had them.
It’s true. No matter how old we grow, mothers will remain the bedrock of our emotional world. And so, in that spirit, we did celebrate Mothers’ Day today. Four mothers and some of their brood dined out, laughed together and cemented the only relationship in the world that probably does not need the cement!