On Mother’s Day

Missing Mom

I shut down on Mother’s Day.

I don’t know if it’s because May is also the anniversary of my mother’s death, but Mother’s Day has this amazing knack for stabbing me in the gut day after day in the weeks leading up to it. I open my email each morning to find a dozen admonitions from retailers, professional newsletters and race directors: “Don’t forget Mom!” or “No Mom likes a late delivery” or “Get Mom what she really wants.” And my snarky little brain thinks, I’ll bet what she really wants is not to be dead.

I’m a mother now. Shouldn’t the day be all about me? Except somehow it’s not. It’s still — and maybe forever will be — about her. And I always felt like I was alone in my Mother’s Day Grinchness until I saw this tweet:

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I wanted to shout from the rooftops. Yes! Someone understands! Of course, that doesn’t actually fix the situation, but it certainly was a comfort to know that I wasn’t alone.

I wasn’t joking about shutting down, though. Everything gets harder in May. Everything. So much so that I have a note in my calendar that pops up every April 1st: Back off in May. And every April 1 I think, ah, that’s solid advice Last-Year Me. Thanks for the reminder. But do I listen? No. This year I’m speaking at two conferences; I took on two rush projects, one of which required working on weekends which I never do; I’m coaching baseball; and I’m volunteering in the classroom, all on top of my regular workload. The only thing I did back off on is attending my favorite annual conference, but that was mostly due to the fact that I couldn’t wedge the cross-country flights to and from Boston into the schedule for my other conferences.

Will I ever learn?

On the bright side, The Assistant will give me a cute, handmade gift today. He already gave me my card which says that I’m “loving, gentl, nice, caring and playful.” Can’t beat that, really. But even as I thank him and hug him and tell him how lucky I am to be his mom, I’ll still be thinking about how much I miss my own.

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