Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Guest Post: Miss A on Mother's Day

Miss A sent me this comment via email today and I begged her to use it under condition of anonymity. It's something so many mothers can relate to and I thank her very much for agreeing to share it:

My teenage son, old enough to know better, almost totally ignored Mother's Day. Sometime mid-morning he called out "Hey Mom, Happy Mother's Day!" in passing, and that was it. No card, no blossom, no breakfast (in bed or otherwise), no gift.

I had, days before, asked Son and Husband to cancel the (very expensive) Mother's Day restaurant reservation they (read: Husband) had made. With the economy being what it is, I'm trying to be more fiscally prudent. I said it would mean so much just to spend the day with them, and it didn't need to be at a fancy boite. Husband obligingly, and somewhat gratefully, canceled the booking.

Cut to Sunday: Husband sleeps in, works out, pours himself a bowl of cereal. Son sleeps in, staggers past me on his way to the kitchen, starts to pour HIMSELF a bowl of cereal.

Me to Son: Hey, let's make pancakes or something!

Son: No thanks, I'm good with cereal.

I left the room and didn't speak a word to either one of them the rest of the day. I kept turning things over in my mind, and finally concluded that I must be a terrible Mother. Either I'm terrible because I haven't trained Son to do the proper thing on a day like this, or I'm terrible because he DOES know the proper thing, and has decided I don't merit it.

By around 10pm, both were alternately sulking and guilt-ridden at my uncharacteristic Silent Treatment of them, However, not wanting to violate my own "don't go to bed angry" rule, I headed to Son's room and told him we needed to talk. I said that I was hurt and disappointed. That I didn't need gifts or fancy meals, but some attention and acknowledgement would have been both nice and appropriate.

He gamely tried the "Mom, I love you every day, we don't need a holiday for that" approach, but trailed off when he saw my face.

He next brought out what he thought would be his trump card: my own mother (she and I are, for all intents and purposes, estranged). "Did you get a Mother's Day card for YOUR mother?" he asked, triumphantly (as if that had anything to do with his own thoughtlessness).

"Yes, as a matter of fact, I did. I don't even LIKE her and I sent her a card. What was your excuse, again?"


"Well, Mom, what do you want me to do? Make you a card NOW? It's ten o'clock at night! I have school tomorrow."

Me: Why yes, that would be lovely.

So he rolled his eyes, I left the room, and about 15 minutes later he dashed to the study and said, rather giddily, "check your email!"

He had, in the intervening time, created a picture as a gift for me - a peace offering, if you will. It was pretty, witty, and made specifically for me (clearly not something he'd repurposed). It brought a smile to my face, and salvaged an otherwise dreary and disappointing day.

On the other hand, I'm reasonably sure I'll be getting a card next year.

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