I have never been a huge proponent of days set aside to celebrate reproduction (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, etc). To me, the simple fact that one participated in the merging of egg and sperm hardly makes one deserving of a whole day of recognition. However, I am clearly alone in this view. Germany has its Muttertag, America its Mother’s Day, and today we have Mothering Sunday.
As you know, I have a mother and I have resigned myself to sending her a card (and possibly ringing her, if I’ve enough vodka in the house) on the second Sunday of May. I will do that, because that is what one does. However, I do feel that some people take the whole “honour thy mother” thing a tad too far.
I am not unaware that mothers make sacrifices for their children. And I acknowledge that most go to some trouble to care for their offspring. Fair dues. However, my mechanic regularly services my car (and even buffs the interior leather), and I certainly don’t feel compelled to “honour” him with perfume and flowers on an annual basis. Why mothers should be celebrated simply for doing their job is beyond my comprehension.
Have you noticed it’s often men who feel obliged to go out of their way on Mother’s Day (without any regard for the fact that the woman who actually pays their salary needs to be driven into town for brunch with her new editor)? Maybe my confusion lies in the fact that I am a daughter. Clearly mothers have different expectations of daughters, which could cause the relationship to be somewhat strained. I asked Christopher why sons are the worse offenders in terms of showering adoration on their mums; silence was his only riposte. I guess, bringing him into a world of beauty and sophistication means nothing, whereas the simple act of buying and laundering his pants for sixteen years apparently deserves lifelong gratitude.
Of course, having never known the apparent “joy” one experiences after giving birth to a younger and generally smaller human, I cannot speak from personal experience of the so-called maternal bond. Clearly, there must be something to this veneration of “a mother’s love” for nothing without some basis in reality could be tolerated by the public for so long. It isn’t that I begrudge a mother and son wanting to acknowledge their mutual affection—-more power to them. However, I simply think it needs to be kept in check (particularly if it interferes with my work schedule). The umbilical cord must be cut at some time or heaven knows what could happen.
As I said, though, I know I am the lone voice of sanity with regards to this issue. So, “Happy Mother’s Day” to all of you mothers out there. A good day to you all. Enjoy this afternoon with your son. Please don’t let me and the future of my career affect you in any way. I’ll make my own way to my meeting, don’t you worry. Savour your time together, because tomorrow he’ll come back to me. Never you fear.